The Roanoker - January/February 2017 - VL24
The Berglund Center
Vinton Dogwood Festival
Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival
The performances almost always sell out, says operations manager Brooke Tolley, and the opera is strongly
supported by individuals and government grants. Each
season has a theme (2017 is American operas).
Performers are a mix of non-professionals and pros,
many from outside the region.
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra: Executive director David
Crane stresses that the RSO is "Virginia's only professional orchestra west of Richmond," though there are several
community orchestras in the region. The symphony performs once a month fall to spring and occasionally has
special performances outside that time frame.
The orchestra, which is housed at the Jefferson Cen-
ter and performs there and at the two civic centers in the
Valley, has as many as 75 musicians (and maestro David
Stewart Wiley) performing, depending on the genre: romantic, pops, educational, classical. "A lot of people think
all we do is classical," says Crane. "That simply isn't true."
He stresses that tickets are easy to come by at RSO.org.
Southwest Virginia Ballet: The organization was founded in 1990 as a "pre-professional" ballet group, one that
gives free weekend training to the best 10-18-year-olds in
the area's 15-20 dance schools. SVB has "Nutcracker" and
spring performances each year ("Romeo and Juliet" at the
Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg) and conducts other performances as outreach efforts.
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