Strong RSO Season Will Also Introduce Low-Cost Memberships

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Conductor David Stewart Wiley works with musicians during a rehearsal for a movie soundtrack last year.
Conductor David Stewart Wiley works with musicians during a rehearsal for a movie soundtrack last year.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-2013 season will include five Masterworks Series programs performed in a combination of concerts at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre and Jefferson Center’s Shaftman Performance Hall.  This season’s Masterworks theme is “Beethoven in the Blue Ridge” featuring at least one work by the classical master on each Masterworks program, along with popular classics by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Vivaldi, Vaughan Williams, Copland and others. Masterworks series highlights include: the RSO’s premiere of the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto with soloist Brian Kiser, and the premiere of David Stewart Wiley’s Celebration Overture; a performance by pianist and NPR show host Christopher O’Riley with the RSO; Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” with RSO concertmaster and violin soloist Akemi Takayama; Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the RSO, the RSO Chorus, and David Stewart Wiley at the piano; and Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

The RSO has also announced the introduction of a new way to attend concerts. When subscriptions go on sale July 16, the RSO will begin offering Concert Memberships starting at $9 per month. Four membership packages will be offered, including an all-inclusive, “as much as you like” RSOMax membership, as well as “partial” membership packages. Each membership can be conveniently paid through a monthly charge to the member’s credit card and will be sold through the RSO’s website at rso.com. Members may choose to have their tickets mailed to them in advance or they may simply show up for the concerts of their choice.

The concept of Concert Memberships is the first of its kind in the Roanoke Valley, and is a pioneering move among orchestras nationwide. “This delivers on our promise to take innovative strides in fulfilling our mission,” stated incoming RSO President Joe Ferguson. “With Concert Memberships, we have a forward-looking plan to serve a new audience with accessibility and value in today’s terms. It’s a win-win situation for the RSO and concertgoers.”

The new memberships will help fill the RSO’s silver and bronze seating sections, with conventional (pay-at-once) subscriptions still offered in the better, gold and platinum, sections. Renewing subscribers with gold or platinum subscriptions may retain their seats and will not be affected by the new membership sales. Tickets to individual concerts will be offered in all sections when they go on sale on August 20.

The Picnic at the Pops Series for 2012-2013 includes three concerts at the Salem Civic Center. The series begins with a solo performance by superstar LeAnn Rimes on Saturday, October 27, 2012;  continues with Holiday Pops: It’s A Wonderful Life featuring Miss Virginia 2011, Elizabeth Crot, on December 7, 2012; and concludes with Bernadette Peters with the RSO on March 8, 2013.

Also this season, the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra and Roanoke Symphony Orchestra will perform side-by-side in Sci-Fi Live.  This concert features a 100-piece orchestra from members of the RSO and RYSO combined, performing music from Star Trek, 2001 A Space Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, Apollo 13, The Planets, and more.

Subscriptions and Concert Memberships go on sale July 16, 2012.  Individual concert tickets go on sale August 20. To order, visit rso.com or call the RSO box office at 540.343.9127.