June 10 - "In the Time of Summer Rain" - Alma Ensemble
Featuring the music of C.P.E. Bach, Germaine Tailleferre, Lili Boulanger, and Francis Poulenc, among others.
The Alma Ensemble is a musician collective dedicated to championing women in music, education, and creating connection through music. The Alma Ensemble was founded by flutist Sarah Wardle Jones, clarinetist Michelle Smith Johnson, and pianist Erica Sipes. Full bios and more information can be found online at almaensemble.org
June 17 - Young Musicians of RCPC
(online concert only)
July 1 - Music for Two Pianos: Deanne Vance & Erica Sipes
Featuring the music of J. S. Bach, Brahms, W. A. Mozart and others.
Throughout her career, Deanne Vance has been active as a recitalist, chamber musician and teacher. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the University of Michigan. Her teachers have included Paul Badura-Skoda, Dady Mehta, Theodore Lettvin, and Barbara Lister-Sink. Dr. Vance has taught at Eastern Michigan University, the University of Michigan, and the Academy of Music at St. Francis in the Fields in Louisville KY. She maintained a private teaching studio in her home for 42 years. Additionally, Dr. Vance has adjudicated at festivals and competitions and has conducted master classes for young students. She was also a church organist and choir director for 48 years. A native of Grand Rapids MI, Deanne resides in Roanoke VA with her husband, Dr. Sam Vance.
Erica Ann Sipes, pianist, received her bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music. She has been an adjunct faculty member and staff pianist at Radford University and at the Governor’s School for the Arts, and has freelanced as a piano collaborator and coach in Michigan, Idaho, and Virginia. For three years she has led the piano intensive program at the Roanoke Youth Orchestra’s Summer Institute. She is a founding member and pianist of the Alma Ensemble, a trio dedicated to featuring music composed by women and has also launched a YouTube channel called Piano Music, She Wrote with the same aim. Ms. Sipes has also performed with the Roanoke Symphony and Amici Musicorum and has performed as a piano soloist with the New River Valley Symphony. In the summer of 2012 Erica officially launched her own business as a practice coach, Beyond the Notes, offering coachings, workshops, planning sessions, and practice boot-camps for anyone that could use some help with practicing.
July 15 - Blue Connections
"Blue Connection is a hard-driving traditional style bluegrass band based in Catawba, VA. We have a traditional bluegrass sound but we play music from many genres including traditional bluegrass, gospel, country, pop and rock. We play various venues throughout the state of Virginia and beyond including churches, bluegrass festivals, and private shows. We strive to provide a professional family-friendly show placing emphasis on quality music, sound, and showmanship. We are a four-piece band consisting of Paul Boone; mandolin and vocals, Kenny Hamblin; banjo and vocals, John Hamilton; guitar and vocals and Mathew Spence; upright bass and vocals” - Visit their website today, blueconnectionbluegrass.com
August 5 - Brooke Tolley and Friends from Opera Roanoke
Brooke Tolley is a native of Roanoke, Virginia, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Voice from Radford University. She made her professional singing debut in 2011 as Kate Pinkerton in Opera Roanoke’s production of Madama Butterfly and has since performed in numerous Opera Roanoke productions including Il Trovatore, Carmen, The Pirates of Penzance, Sweeney Todd, and Susannah. She has been a Young Artist at Asheville Lyric Opera and Chicago Summer Opera, where she made her debut as the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute in 2014, returning to cover the role at Opera Roanoke in 2015. She has performed lead roles with Capitol Opera Raleigh and Saltworks Opera, among others. As a concert soloist, Ms. Tolley has performed in Handel’s Messiah, DuBois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, Schubert’s Mass in G, and made her Lincoln Center debut in 2017 singing the soprano solo in Pepper Choplin’s A Journey with the Shepherd. As a voice teacher, she has maintained a private voice studio for students across the Roanoke Valley since 2012 and has taught voice lessons at The Jefferson Center’s Music Lab and Hollins University.
She was a participant in Leadership Roanoke Valley’s Class of 2019 and was chosen as one of only three opera administrators across the country to attend The Hart Institute for Women Opera Conductors and Administrators at The Dallas Opera in 2018. She is passionate about connecting audiences of all ages with opera in both traditional and site-specific venues and believes that opera should be accessible to all.
August 26 - "Heroic Music for Brass, Timpani, and Organ" featuring the Roanoke Chamber Brass and Mitchell R. Weisiger, Organ
Featuring the music of Karg-Elert, Gigout, J.S. Bach, and others.
Since 2001, the Roanoke Chamber Brass has been an established part of the arts culture in southwestern Virginia and has solidified its reputation as a premier chamber ensemble. The group's primary mission is to provide entertaining and educational performances to all audiences. As musicians and dedicated educators, the members seek to promote and broaden knowledge of music to students at levels ranging from elementary to university. The Roanoke Chamber Brass has enjoyed numerous performance opportunities with a wide variety of ensembles and choruses since its inception.