Friday, January 20, 2006

The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra with Artistic Director and Conductor Grant Cooper will perform at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2, at Colebank Hall on the Fairmont State main campus.

The concert titled "A Night on Broadway" will feature 11 soloists: Stephanie Adlington, Micah Atkinson, Alexandra Ayoob, Elisabeth Baer, Jonathan Cavendish, Mark Hornbaker, Melanie Larch, Bill Rainey, Joe Romagnoli, Evie Victorson and Eva Vidavska Kumar. The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra presents more than 30 concerts annually to audiences throughout the Mountain State.

The program will feature songs from "State Fair," "La Boheme," "My Fair Lady," "Ice Castles," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Chicago" and many other popular musicals.

Tickets are $12 for general admission or $25 for a reserved seat and are available by calling the Marion County Chamber of Commerce at (304) 363-0442 or the FS Box Office at (304) 367-4240.

For a current WVSO concert schedule and ticket information, visit the WVSO web site: www.wvsymphony.org.

Stephanie Adlington
Singer/songwriter Stephanie Adlington was born and raised in Grafton, W.Va. After high school, she spent two years at the Eastman School of Music and then went on to pursue studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. While in London, she recorded radio jingles for both Capitol Radio London and Invictor Radio and performed live studio broadcasts for BBC Radio. She was later asked to be the new vocalist for the band Renaissance. Formed from the ashes of the Yardbirds (best known for introducing eventual Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page to the world), Renaissance had experienced tremendous success over a 20-year career. Their "comeback" would feature Adlington replacing original vocalist Annie Haslam. Adlington would go on to record two critically-acclaimed albums with the band, "The Other Woman" and "Ocean Gypsy." After a few years, she left Renaissance and returned to the United States and West Virginia. She is currently teaching as an adjunct professor of voice at Fairmont State University and for the community music programs for FSU and West Virginia University.

Micah Atkinson
Sixteen-year-old Micah Atkinson is from Charleston and is the fourth of five children of Mark and Dawn Atkinson. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where she sings frequently and has earned the Young Woman in Excellence Award. She studies voice with Deborah Lucas and formerly studied piano with the late Bob Hays. A sophomore at Capital High School, she is a member of the show choir "Voices in Perfection," a member of "The Dance Company" and is a former member of the marching band "The Pride of Capital High." She has been involved in community theater since she was 8 years old, performing with the Charleston Light Opera Guild, The Capital High School Theater, The Children's Theater of Charleston and The Kanawha Players in such shows as "Peter Pan," "Annie," "Scrooge," "Music Man" and most recently, "Beauty and the Beast."

Alexandra Ayoob
Nine-year-old Alexandra Ayoob has studied voice with Dr. Mark Hornbaker for three years. She is the daughter of Perry and Mary Jane Ayoob of Charleston and is an honor student at Sacred Heart Grade School. She just completed her ninth play, performing in "It's a Wonderful Life" for Kanawha Players. She has performed "The National Anthem" over 30 times and recently had the honor of performing this at the dedication of the West Virginia quarter at the capitol. At age 6, she was the youngest ever to perform the anthem at a Charleston Alley Cats baseball game. She has modeled/sung at the WVU Classic Style shows and has done local commercials. She has enjoyed volunteering at Symphony Sunday for the past three years.

Elisabeth Baer
Elisabeth Baer, a native of Charleston, recently completed apprenticeships with both the Pittsburgh Opera and San Francisco Opera. Most recently, she performed the role of Mrs. Grose in Britten's "Turn of the Screw" with the Pittsburgh Opera. During her apprenticeships, she also performed the role of The Countess in "The Marriage of Figaro," Annina in Verdi's "La Traviata" and both Ericlea and Fortuna in Monteverdi's "Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria." In 2003, she was both a district and regional winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She earned her bachelor's degree in vocal performance from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and later attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., where she completed a Performer's Diploma in Opera Studies in May 2003.

Jonathan Cavendish
Jonathan Cavendish is a native Charlestonian who received a degree in music (voice) from the Creative Arts Center's Division of Music at West Virginia University. He taught music for one year and then entered the real estate business, and has been active in that industry since 1972. He has done productions with the West Virginia Opera Theater, the Charleston Light Opera Guild, the West Virginia State College Music Department and has toured a number of states in productions of "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," "1 Pagliacci," "Rita" and variety programs. Recently he was seen in the Seneca Chamber Orchestra production of "The Mikado" as the Grand Pooh-Bah, and most recently, as Guglielmo in the Kanawha Forum Grand Opera production of "Cosi Fan Tutte." Recent concerts include duet recitals with local soprano Branita Holbrook on "Good Night" programs; with Mariel van Dalsum-Boggs in Columbus, Ohio, and other locations in West Virginia; and with soprano Kathryn Gardner in Richmond, Va., where they repeated a duet concert previously performed at the American Church in Paris, on their Atelier Recital Series. He is married to a virtuoso accompanist and concert pianist, Vicki Berneking-Cavendish.

"3" Mark Hornbaker, Bill Rainey, and Joe Romagnoli
The members of "3" first sang together at WVSO's performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at Snowshoe in 1999. Since then they have performed at various occasions both in and out of West Virginia. The group's repertoire spans musical theater, opera, folk and popular music.
Dr. Mark Hornbaker
Hornbaker has become one of Charleston's favorite singers since arriving in West Virginia in 1995. Most recently he sang as tenor soloist in WVSO's production of "Messiah" in November. In October he portrayed Mr. Ford in the premier performance of Kehde/Scarpelli's opera "Lincoln" and made his first appearance in July with the Charleston Light Opera Guild in "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change." As soloist, he has performed twice with Dave Brubeck and sung with orchestras in several states. Other highlights in Mark's singing career include appearances with the Seneca Chamber Orchestra as the Captain of HMS Pinafore and Frederic in "Pirates of Penzance." Currently, he is the Chorus Director at George Washington High School. In December of 2005 his GW singers were heard with WVSO in Charleston Ballet's production of "Nutcracker." He also has many private voice students and teaches group voice.
Bill Rainey
Rainey is a member of the Charleston Light Opera Guild. For the Guild he has been Maurice in "Beauty and the Beast," Elisha Whitney in "Anything Goes," John Adams in "1776," El Gallo in "The Fantasticks," Ben Stone in "Follies," Padre Perez in "Man of La Mancha" and J.P. Bigley in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." He has appeared as Master Spinelloccio in "Gianni Schicchi" with the WVSO and as the Boatswain in "H.M.S. Pinafore," Major General Stanley in "The Pirates of Penzance" and as the Soldier in "The Soldier's Tale" for Seneca Chamber Orchestra. His two favorite roles, so far, have been Sweeney Todd, who he portrayed in the Charleston Stage Company's 1994 production of "Sweeney Todd," and Emile De Beque in the West Virginia Tech production of "South Pacific." He is employed by W.Va. Public Employees Insurance Agency and shares his life with Caroline Chamness.
Joe Romagnoli
After an early string of Charleston light opera guild productions beginning in 1966 with "Kiss Me Kate," he attended the Boston Conservatory of Music where he earned a Bachelor or Fine Arts Degree. He moved to New York where he performed in opera, musical theatre, and on the concert stage. He was seen in the Off-Broadway productions of "Potholes," "T.N.T.," "Oklahoma" and "Hughie," and he has performed in touring companies, summer stock and dinner theatres. Since returning to Charleston, he has appeared with many of the performing arts groups in the area. His most recent Guild appearances include Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof," Captain Hook in "Peter Pan" and Jentry in "The Fantasticks." With the Seneca Chamber Orchestra, he appeared as King Kasper in "Amahl and the Night Visitors," Ko-Ko in "The Mikado," the Pirate King in "Pirates of Penzance" and Sir Joseph Porter in "H.M.S. Pinafore." He was seen as Fagin in "Oliver" and the Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard of Oz" with the Children's Theatre of Charleston; Ernest Ludwig in the Charleston Stage Company's "Cabaret;" Frank Gianelli in "Over the River and Through the Woods" with the Kanawha Players; "American Paradise and Frankenstein" with the Contemporary Youth Arts Company; and with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in productions of "Il Trovatore," "Falstaff," "Tosca" and "The Barber of Seville."

Melanie Larch
A familiar face to local audiences, Larch has performed with most of Charleston's local arts groups over the last two decades. Her many roles include Audrey in "Little Shop of Horrors," Nancy in "Oliver!," Tzeitel in "Fiddler on the Roof" and appearances in such shows as "Company," "Jerry's Girls," "Side By Side By Sondheim" and "Sweeney Todd." For the past three years, she has been involved with Charleston's V-Day activities as both a musician and actress in "The Vagina Monologues." A graduate of West Virginia State University with a degree in music education, she has performed with the West Virginia Symphony Chorus in both choral works and operas including Beethoven's 9th, "Carmina Burana," "Messiah," "Carmen," "Il Trovatore" and "Tosca." She has also appeared as a soloist with the chorus at Symphony Sunday and A Night In Merry Olde England. Her other performances include Ruth in "The Pirates of Penzance" and Katisha in "The Mikado" with the Seneca Chamber Orchestra.

Evie Victorson
Evie Victorson is a veteran of the Charleston Stage. She has performed the roles of Velma Kelly ("Chicago"), Reno Sweeney ("Anything Goes"), Cassie ("Chorus Line"), Fastrada ("Pippin"), Lily ("Annie"), Dainty June ("Gypsy") and Tzeitel ("Fiddler on the Roof") for the Charleston Light Opera Guild. She performed the role of Rosemary ("How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying") for Kanawha Players. She has also performed as a soloist with the Charleston Neophonic Orchestra. She has done print, commercial and voiceover work for various state and regional businesses such as BrickStreet Insurance, West Virginia Wireless, Heiner's Bakery, Our Lady of Bellefonte and Classic Bank. Victorson holds bachelor's and master's degrees from West Virginia University. She is employed by the law firm of Jackson Kelly PLLC as the Project Manager of Marketing. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Charleston Light Opera Guild and the Marketing Committee for the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences "West Virginia.

Eva Vidavska Kumar
Eva Vidavska Kumar was born in Lublin, Poland. She began singing as a young girl and had her own band by the time she was in high school. She attended The Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland, and received a master's degree in classical singing and acting. She has won several Grand Prizes in competitions for both signing and composing music. She is a dramatic soprano and has performed in "Messiah," "Dido" and "Aeneas," and "The Marriage of Figaro" in her native Poland. She has also performed in operettas in Italy, Switzerland and Germany. She is recently married and lives in Charleston with her husband.