By Susan Lambert
Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra and Choir (SMYOC) to Hold Annual Fundraising Gala:
The Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra & Choir (SMYOC) invites the community to their 3rd Annual Fundraising Gala “A Little Night Music” on Saturday, March 2, 2019, starting 5:30pm, at the Holiday Inn in Solomons. The festive event will feature a silent auction, dinner, and concert performance given by renowned guest artists and SMYOC’s six youth ensembles.
The evening’s concert will feature Kurt Nikkanen, Violinist and Concertmaster of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, and Sharin Apostolou, Delaware-based Singer and Actress. American violinist Kurt Nikkanen is an international soloist who regularly performs with the leading orchestras of the USA. Europe, and the Far East. In North America, he has appeared with the Dallas Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra, and in Europe with the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Dresden Staatskapelle. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he gave his Carnegie Hall debut at age 12 with the New York Symphony. At 14, he performed the Paganini Concert No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School. An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, Kurt Nikkanen also performs regularly as a recitalist both in the US and abroad with his wife, pianist Maria Asteriadou.
The versatile Greek-American Soprano Sharin Apostolou has performed roles in numerous operatic and musical theater works with companies throughout the nation. Her major roles include Nanetta from Falstaff with the Baltimore Concert Opera/Opera Delaware, Yum-Yum from The Mikado with the Anchorage Opera, Rosina from The Barber of Seville with the Wichita Grand Opera, Ado Annie from Oklahoma! with the Charlottesville Opera, and Nellie Forbush from South Pacific with the Ash Lawn Opera. Last summer she appeared as the Baker’s Wife in Sondheim’s Into the Woods with the Charlottesville Opera. She was Carrie Pipperidge in The Glimmerglass Festival’s critically acclaimed Carousel in 2015. She has been in recent performances with the New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Portland Opera, and The Center for Contemporary Opera, among others.
Singing the role of La Comtess Adéle in Le Comte Ory with Loft Opera in 2016, Opera News praised her “amazing vocal agility in the highly demanding coloratura challenges of the role, retaining a purity of tone throughout.” She holds degrees in vocal performance from Carnegie Mellon University and the Manhattan School of Music. The Gala is the major fundraiser of the year for SMYOC, a local non-profit providing musical training and performance opportunities to young talented instrumentalists and singers in the tri-county area. It will feature a Silent Auction in addition to a 50-50 raffle and “chance” raffle.
Guests will have the opportunity to bid on many exciting and unique items.
Dinner (6-7pm) and dessert is included in the price of the ticket, with catering and cash bar provided by the Holiday Inn. Tickets ($55) can be purchased at www.smyoc.org.
SMYOC, under the musical direction of Julien Benichou, has offered musical programs to tricounty youth since 2013. The current Youth Orchestra, a full orchestra accepting both traditional and non-traditional instruments, as well as the current Youth Choirs, draw talented musicians from all three counties in Southern Maryland. SMYOC also offers a preparatory strings orchestra and two preparatory choirs.
The Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra & Choir exists to nurture, develop and advance young, talented local musicians in quality orchestral and choral programs.
SMYOC, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is partly funded by grants from the St. Mary’s County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.
Working together with Maryland musicians, educators and organizations to expand the musical opportunities available in our community, SMYOC actively encourages young musicians to be involved with as much music as they can, at home and at school, in the community and in their places of worship, in theater and musical ensembles, with their instructors and on their own.
The more music, the better!