Symphony concert to feature well-known vocalists

Published 7:46 am Wednesday, March 18, 2009

COURTLAND—When the Virginia Symphony Orchestra appears in concert at the Southampton High School Auditorium Saturday, there will be an added attraction — the musicians will be joined by two of Tidewater’s most talented vocalists.

Soprano Rachel Holland and baritone Christopher Mooney, both on the staff of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, will offer several selections during the performance, which will be conducted by Associate Director Matthew Kraemer. The concert will begin at 8 p.m.

The annual production, which is sponsored by the Franklin-Southampton Concert Association, is brought back through the generosity of the Camp Foundation, and, as always, is open to the public.

“We’re very indebted to the foundation for sponsoring this wonderful group,” said Nancy Rowe, president of the association, “and we urge the public to attend. Their performances are always outstanding.”

Under the direction of JoAnn Faletta, this will be the second year the orchestra has been conducted by the 31-year-old Kraemer. Selected for his musical skills, enthusiasm and dedication to excellence, Kraemer comes to the Virginia Symphony from Akron, Ohio.

He studied conducting in Vienna with Salvador Mas Conde and was twice a fellowship conductor at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. In 2006, he received the distinguished Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship and served a residency with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Music festival.

Kraemer has a Master of Music degree in orchestral career studies from the University of Nevada and a degree in violin performance from Butler University. An accomplished violinist, he was a member of the Nightingale String Quartet at the University of Nevada.

Holland serves as director of vocal studies at CNU and has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cedar Rapids Symphony, the Sioux City Symphony and the Virginia Opera Association.

Mooney is on the voice faculty at CNU and regularly sings with the Virginia Symphony, the Virginia Opera and the Norfolk Chamber Consort, as well as a popular annual Broadway “pops” event at the Kimball Theatre in Williamsburg to benefit the youth orchestra there.

For more information, call Rowe at (757) 653-2498. Admission is free.