Valdosta Symphony Orchestra Presents Romantic Valentine’s Day Concert

Pictured, from top to bottom, are Missy Griffin, Karl Paoletti Jr., and Caroline Hatchett.

~ 2014-2015 is the Year of the Arts at Valdosta State University ~

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta Symphony Orchestra will continue its 25th anniversary celebration with Visions of Love at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14, in Valdosta State University’s Whitehead Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now.

Dr. Howard Hsu, conductor and Valdosta Symphony Orchestra music director, said that this is the first time he can recall a concert falling on Valentine’s Day since he arrived in Valdosta. When selecting the music for the evening, he decided that a love-themed concert would be a perfect way to celebrate the happy occurrence.

“Every work on the program is related to love, or some aspect of it,” he shared.

The evening will begin with Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story Overture and continue with Richard Wager’s Siegfried Idyll, which, Hsu explained, was never meant to be heard by the public.

“Wagner composed it as a birthday present for his wife, Cosima, following the birth of their son, Siegfried,” he shared. “Wagner gathered a chamber ensemble on the stairs of his villa on Christmas morning to perform this gift for the sleeping Cosima.”

“We can only imagine what she thought as she awoke to the beautiful opening bars,” he added.

The evening will conclude with Camille Sant-Saëns’s “Bacchanale” from Samson and Delilah, Pietro Mascagni’s “Intermezzo” from Cavalleria Rusticanna, and selections from Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20.

The program lineup includes vocal performances by Missy Griffin, who earned a master’s degree in classical voice performance from VSU; Caroline Hatchett, who earned a music education degree and master’s degree in performance from VSU, serves as an adjunct instructor of voice in both the Department of Music and the Theatre and Dance Area at the university, and is a member of the Sine Nomine Singers of Valdosta; and Karl Paoletti Jr., an assistant professor of voice and director of VSU Opera.

“This evening promises to be a fun and romantic one …,” Hsu said.

Visions of Love is the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra’s third concert of the 2014-2015 season — the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra’s 25th anniversary season.

Tickets for Saturday’s performance, which is sponsored by Ladenburg Thalmann, are $27 for adults and $10 for students. Senior, military, and VSU faculty and staff discounts are available.

Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of VSU’s Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

Visit or contact Sarah Alexander with VSU’s College of Arts Outreach Office at (229) 333-2150 or to reserve tickets or learn more. Tickets are also available at the Box Office before each event.

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Created in 1990, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra serves both the cultural life of Valdosta and the regional academic mission of Valdosta State University. The high standard of performance of the orchestra enables it to attract guest soloists of national and international renown to the Valdosta community. The orchestra’s membership is a unique blend of resident artist-faculty, students studying professional music disciplines, talented community performers, and carefully selected professionals from a five-state region. Supported by an Advisory Board of Directors, the Valdosta Symphony Guild, Valdosta State University, corporate sponsors, and hundreds of individual patrons, the orchestra has become an important part of the cultural life of the entire region.

The Downtown Symphony Club, a social group for young and young-at-heart music lovers and professionals, will meet prior to Saturday’s performance for drinks, appetizers, and dinner at 6 p.m. at The Tipsy Cow. Contact Dr. Shannon Lowe, an instructor of bassoon, music theory, and chamber ensembles at Valdosta State University, at to sign up. Club members receive a discount on single tickets, a pre-concert chat with the conductor, access to other members-only events, and more. Membership is free.

Jessica R. Pope

Communications Specialist