Lima, OH (February 1, 2022) – The Lima Symphony Orchestra returns to the concert stage on Saturday, February 12 at 7:30 PM at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center (7 Town Square, Lima, OH 45801) for a celebration of Black History Month with “American Voices,” followed immediately by “Deep Voice – Lima Symphony Edition” spoken word event sponsored by Vibe Coffeehouse and Café. The program, led by Music Director Andrew Crust, features soprano Katherine Jolly and works by several distinguished African American composers, including a WORLD PREMIERE performance of Andrew Crust’s arrangement of songs by the acclaimed Florence Price.
A bright, young, accomplished singer on the opera and concert stages, soprano Katherine Jolly has appeared in leading roles with Opera Theatre Saint Louis, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, Amarillo Opera, Piedmont Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, American Lyric Theatre, and others. Her recent CD Preach Sister Preach has received airtime on radio stations across the country and rave reviews in publications and on websites such as Gramophone, Review Graveyard, Take Effect, and others. In the concert arena, she has performed recently as the soprano soloist in Handel’s The Messiah with the Evansville Philharmonic, the Richmond Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony. Jolly was featured with the Phoenix Symphony in staged performances of Brundibar, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Carmina Burana with Northwest Florida Symphony, and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Sacramento Choral Arts Society. In 2012, the soprano returned to the Sacramento Choral Arts Society in the Fauré Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria. “Jolly’s voice enraptured the audience as she sang the ethereal Domine Deus” (Sacramento Press).
Jolly made her debut with Houston Grand Opera in 2012, performing as part of their East/West Chamber Opera series in a premier of New Arrivals. “Katherine Jolly, also making her HGO debut, employed tender and expressive soprano vocals to make her portrayal of Iris poignant and unforgettable” (Operaworld.com). She debuted with Virginia Opera, reprising Yum-Yum, in The Mikado, and was featured with the company as one of three sopranos in their Simply Sopranos Gala. The soprano returned to New York City Opera in 2010 for performances as Laoula in L’Etoile following her performances in Cendrillon in 2007, where Variety wrote of her debut, “As the Fairy Godmother, coloratura soprano Katherine Jolly, delights with her endlessly flowing trills, runs and roulades.”
A winner of the 2006 Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals, the New York Times wrote “Katherine Jolly used her agile, bright lyric soprano to superb effect in showpieces from Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail and Ariadne auf Naxos.” Jolly returned to the Met in the spring of 2010 to workshop An Enchanted Island with the company and was featured with City Opera’s VOX series for new operas in Acquanetta and Josephine, broadcast on NPR. In addition to her Metropolitan Opera National Council Award, she has been the recipient of other awards from organizations including the George London Foundation, Opera Theatre Saint Louis, the McAllister Foundation, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Jolly has presented workshops of co-authored research on yoga, singing, and performance anxiety at the Performing Arts Medical Association, Voice Foundation, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the National Percussion Conference, among others. The soprano is a certified yoga instructor, with 18 years of training in classical ballet, and additional studies in modern and African dance as well as mindfulness training. She received the Doctorate of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. As an Assistant Professor of Music at Saint Louis University, Department of Fine and Performing Arts, Jolly was recently awarded a Mellon Faculty Career Grant and was a 2016-2017 Finalist for the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Arts and Sciences. She was the recipient of a New Frontiers Grant for Creative Activity from Indiana University where she served as an Assistant Professor of Voice from 2017-2019. Jolly’s primary teachers were Barbara Honn, Thomas Baresel, and Phyllis Hoffman. More information can be found at: katherinejollysoprano.com and bergerartists.com. Jolly is currently an Associate Professor of Voice at Oberlin Conservatory.
Contemplative sounds of George Walker’s Lyric for Strings set the stage for an evening of introspection and celebration. Renowned soprano soloist Katherine Jolly brings Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 for voice and orchestra to life and offers an idyllic and nostalgic picture of an evening in the American South through the eyes of a young child. Songs from the acclaimed Florence Price, performed as a WORLD PREMIERE arrangement by Music Director Andrew Crust, delight in their elegant settings of traditional American sounds. Rounding out the program is William Grant Still’s masterpiece ‘Afro American Symphony”, which explores the fusion of the blues with classical music.
The Lima Symphony’s celebration of Black History Month extends through weekend beginning with a post-concert spoken word event, “Deep Voice – Lima Symphony Edition” sponsored by Vibe Coffeehouse and Café. This event, the first of its kind for the LSO, will present poetry and original works of spoken word that reflect on the African American experience. Life coach, motivational speaker, and poet Courtney J. Owens will emcee the event, and will be joined by guest artists Betty Henry, Mandi Armistead, and Shawn Russell, Jr. This event will take place on the stage of Crouse Hall immediately following the “American Voices” concert.
The celebration will continue on Sunday, February 13 at 12:30 at Vibe Coffeehouse and Café with a special Black History Month edition of Symphony Storytime. This program puts the spotlight on stories and music that celebrate the vast musical contributions of African Americans to the classical music idiom. Featuring community reader Elisa Bradley.
Mercy Health/St. Rita’s Medical Center
GUEST ARTIST SPONSOR:
Fifth Third Bank
George Walker – Lyric for Strings
Samuel Barber – Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Katherine Jolly, Soprano
Florence Price/arr. Andrew Crust – WORLD PREMIERE
Katherine Jolly, Soprano
Feet o’ Jesus
William Grant Still – Symphony No. 1 “Afro American”
$15/$10 student (call office for student tickets)
Tickets can be purchased online at www.limasymphony.com or by calling the symphony office at 419-222-5701. Program books are available digitally through the LSO website.
The Lima Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to preserving musical excellence as a living part of our community. Serving communities throughout West Central Ohio, the Lima Symphony annually presents five subscription concerts, a family concert, Music by Candlelight concerts and an annual New Year’s Eve Pops concert.