It’s no secret that opera in America is struggling. In 2008, only eight percent of adults said they liked opera, and only two percent had been to one in the past year, but here in Virginia that could be changing thanks to summer programs designed to build the base for opera.
It’s not unusual for opera goers to give long and enthusiastic ovations – for cast members to take bow after bow, but people who love this complex art form fear their audience may not always be there.
While many of their peers are swimming, biking, hiking or just goofing around this summer, more than three dozen high school students from around the state have gathered in Charlottesville this week for a vocal labor of love - rehearsing and performing one of the most complex works of choral art ever. A Mozart marathon now underway.
Judith Gary is music director for the Virginia Consort, a singing ensemble in Charlottesville and one of five music professionals behind a remarkable summer experiment.
Floyd, Virginia is better known for Mountain music than for classical concerts, but a new Music Festival will bring the two together for eleven days this spring --- all over town.
David Stewart Wiley is the artistic director and conductor of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival. He says Floyd is an ideal setting for the festival; its variety of venues for a full schedule of performances and workshops, its scenic backdrops, and because of a certain resonance between classical and mountain music.
It’s said the cello is the instrument which sounds most like the human voice. That may be why it resonates for some, like no other.
A young woman from Giles County is one of only six people outside Great Britain to have been accepted at the Royal College of Music in London to study cello next year.
Miriam Liske-Doorandish has been playing the instrument virtually all her life. Her mother is Lisa Liske-Doorandish, the former principal cellist in the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. She still runs a studio, gives lessons and still plays for Opera Roanoke.
One of every 88 children in this country has some degree of autism – up 78% over the last ten years. It’s a puzzling psychological condition that makes it difficult to communicate, but it is possible to help these kids relate to the world around them. One Staunton couple has made some surprising discoveries in that vein.
Barry Kolman conducts the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra – an exciting job that brings him great satisfaction. He also teaches music at Washington and Lee University, but of all the musicians he’s encountered, one gives him the greatest joy.