Wintergreen Performing Arts
Who We Are
Current as of April 14, 2001
Wintergreen Performing Arts (WPA) was established in 1996 to enhance the quality of life of the communities of Central Virginia (Nelson County) by providing cultural education and promoting an understanding and participation in the performing arts. Since initiating the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival in 1997, the music organization has seen remarkable growth and has established a reputation for outstanding performance. This reputation has been greatly enhanced through the hiring of David Wiley as artistic director in 1999.
In 1998, through the generosity of the John D. Evans Foundation, WPA was able to obtain a Performing Arts Center that seats up to 500 people. It is a portable tent structure that is erected on the Wintergreen Resort ski hill. During the summer and early fall, the rear wall of the tent is removed enabling lawn seating for concerts.
During 2001 our In Concert with Nature program will include a humanities component that will include a symposium and various workshops focusing on the importance of sustainable growth and continued economic development in Nelson County. This effort will be initiated through a collaborative effort with the Wintergreen Nature Foundation, Nelson County Tourism and Economic Development, Rural Nelson, Citizens for Responsible Development, and Nellysford Area Merchant's Association. Each organization will be represented on a task force established to develop the civic dialogue necessary to influence public policy in favor of preserving the pristine environment of Nelson County and its contribution to the quality of life in Virginia while continuing to focus on economic development, which includes Nelson County as an important tourism destination.
WPA is working in partnership with the Nelson County Public Schools. All students in the Elementary School and High School will experience one or more concerts and/or workshops featuring Virginia artists. The season includes representation in music, theater, opera, and multi-discipline activities. A twelve-person committee has been formed and co-chaired by each organization. The development of education opportunities for Nelson County youths has been important to the residents at Wintergreen. As a result, WPA has continued tutoring and mentoring programs to allow the residents to become actively involved, such as reading to children.
The Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and Academy was introduced in 1997 and has enjoyed outstanding success since then. More than 14,000 residents and visitors have attended the concerts. The variety of the types of music played in the various concerts meets the many needs of the community, both young and old. The program of music is selected by Artistic Director / Conductor Dr. David Wiley and performed by the fifty-member professional Wintergreen Festival Orchestra. The Music Academy is for young, pre-professional musicians selected for their performance capabilities and who will be given the opportunity to perform before audiences while under the tutelage of seasoned veteran performers.
In 2000 the Continental Harmony Project, a program of the American Composers Forum and the National Endowment for the Arts, was the first nationwide music commissioning program in American history. Beginning as a celebration of the new millennium, people in every state worked with composers to bring to life new music that reflected their history, culture, and hopes for the future.
Fifty-eight communities were selected as Continental Harmony host sites. Host communities in all 50 states determined the types of music that would best reflect their history, culture, and hopes for the future. Communities were selected by a national panel that included artists with community experience as well as other arts professionals with expertise in the field. Hosts were chosen from scores of applications from across America. Wintergreen Performing Arts is proud that we were chosen as Virginia’s host site.
Wintergreen Performing Arts Summer Music Festival, Virginia
Center for the Creative Arts,
and Richmond Symphony
Orchestral work for outdoor concert in the Blue Ridge Mountains
In a unique partnership with the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Wintergreen's Continental Harmony project culminated in a premiere that took place under the stars and was followed by a spectacular fireworks display on the eve of Independence Day, 2000.
The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, one of the nation's premiere artist retreat centers, provided an idyllic workspace for composer Anthony Iannaccone. Located in nearby Sweet Briar, Virginia, the center served as the locus for outreach activities into area schools and community centers. The Richmond Symphony, recognized repeatedly by ASCAP for adventuresome programming, premiered the commissioned work, From Time to Time.
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