When the Floyd Center for the Arts and the Blue Ridge Music Festival team up to present a “Home for the Holidays Concert” on Sunday, Dec. 22, the afternoon will feature two celebrated families of musicians and singers.
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra (RSO) Conductor and Artistic Director, David Stewart Wiley will host the program in Celebration Hall at the Floyd EcoVillage at 3 p.m., featuring his wife, acclaimed soprano/actress Leah Marer Wiley, as well as accomplished young cellist Misha Wiley, their son. The thrilling voices of Philip and Tara Bouknight will also fill the hall.
A reception with refreshments will follow the concert at which the audience can meet the musicians and singers. Tickets (adults/$25, students/$5) for the concert and complimentary reception are available at www.floydartcenter.org.
RSO has experienced remarkable artistic growth and expansion under David Stewart Wiley’s energetic leadership since 1996. Wiley also serves as Music Director and Conductor of Orchestra Long Island. He made his exciting Boston Pops debut in three ways: as conductor, composer, and pianist at Boston Symphony Hall for a sold-out audience.
Leah Marer Wiley has performed throughout the United States and Europe. She has been voted “Best Female Vocalist” by readers of The Roanoker Magazine. With a wide vocal range and dramatic versatility, she is as comfortable in musical theater as she is in opera and symphonic performance. She has been a featured vocal soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra and the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra. Leah Marer Wiley also gives private and group vocal instruction.
Misha Wiley is a 16-year-old honors student in his junior year at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke. He is the principal cellist of the PHHS Orchestra and has studied cello with Lisa Liske-Doorandish since age 3. Misha Wiley is an All-Academic member of the PHHS JV basketball team, and a member of the PH Cross-Country team.
The Rev. Philip Bouknight has performed oratorio extensively throughout the United States and abroad. He has sung the title role in Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” and Jesus in Bach’s “St. John Passion.” He has been seen on international televised broadcasts of Mozart’s “Mass in C Major and Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms.” Rev. Bouknight is an ordained Lutheran pastor serving Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta, Virginia.
Tara Bouknight, the wife of Rev. Philip Bouknight, has also sung in many oratorios, including two premiers, and has appeared in several title roles on the operatic stage including Carmen, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Cherubino in Le Nozzo di Figaro and Maddalina in Rigoletto. She sings with both RSO and Lynchburg’s Opera on the James. Tara Bouknight is currently an adjunct professor at Randolph College and maintains a private voice studio.
The Floyd Center for the Arts’ mission is to facilitate and showcase artistic endeavors and creativity. The Center provides education in the arts throughout our rural community and region.
The Blue Ridge Music Festival focuses on music education, especially the support of local young people and the broadening of our region’s musical richness.
For more information about The Floyd Center for the Arts: visit FloydArtCenter.org or call 540-745-2784. The Center is located at 220 Parkway Lane South in Floyd, ½ mile south of the stoplight on Virginia 8. Regular hours are: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
David Stewart Wiley and Leah Marer Wiley