UVA Wise to Host 12th Annual Symphony By the Lake

Conducter and orchestra on stage

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVA Wise) will host as Pro-Art kicks off its 48th season with the 12th annual Symphony by the Lake. Symphony of the Mountains, under the direction of Cornelia Laemmli Orth, presents "When the Stars Come Out" at sunset on Saturday, July 20, featuring tenor soloist and Big Stone Gap native Roy Cornelius Smith. Bring your family and friends, a picnic, blankets or lawn chairs, and enjoy a fabulous evening of music under the stars at UVA Wise. The concert will commence at 8:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

“We are thrilled to once again help Pro-Art debut its season on our campus and invite all to attend what is always a fantastic concert,” said UVA Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry. “The Symphony of the Mountains performance is always stellar and the event is a great time for fellowship and community.”

The program offers a blend of classical and popular music, beginning with a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and moving into lively and celebratory pieces by composers such as Franz von Suppé and Johann Strauss II. The audience will enjoy selections that range from John Williams' stirring compositions to beloved Broadway hits from "Les Misérables." The evening gives way to a series of patriotic and Americana favorites, featuring a trumpet solo by Jimmy Stokes and a medley honoring the armed forces.

Soloist Roy Cornelius Smith has established himself among the ranks of the finest tenors of his generation with a voice of exceptional color and beauty. Smith has performed leading tenor roles at opera houses and festivals around the world including the Salzburg Festival, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Volksoper, New York City Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has also performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Atlanta-based composer and fellow Big Stone Gap native Kevin Robison will premiere his newest work for voice and orchestra, “Fantasia on Appalachian Folk Songs,” during the program. The piece evokes the spirit and majesty of the Appalachian region through contemporary settings of five popular folk songs: ‘The Sunny South,’ ‘Barbara Allen,’ ‘The True Lover's Farewell,’ ‘The Farmer's Curst Wife’ and ‘Pretty Saro.’

Symphony of the Mountains’ commitment to service encompasses the entire region, without regard for state or county boundaries. The orchestra consists of more than 70 professional musicians conducted by Cornelia Laemmli Orth. For more information about the symphony and to see a list of upcoming performances, please visit symphonyofthemountains.org.

Pro-Art’s 48th season offers an impressive selection of theater, jazz and some truly unique performances by storytellers, puppeteers, and even an ariel silk ballet! There’s something for everyone this season and a lot of additional opportunities to be adventurous and try something new. Explore the complete season and make reservations at proartva.org. Season tickets are valid for all performances of the 48th season and can be purchased online, in person at any show or by calling (276) 376-4520.

Pro-Art partners with a variety of venues, therefore individuals with accessibility needs or general questions are encouraged to call (276) 376-4520 or email pro-art@uvawise.edu. For evolving conditions related to weather cancellations, or similar unforeseen circumstances, patrons are encouraged to check proartva.org for up-to-date information.

This performance is made possible in part by the Marvin and Marcia Gilliam Foundation. Pro-Art is supported in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Mountain Empire Community College, the Columbus Phipps Foundation and the Lee County Community Foundation.