BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 31, 2014 – The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech will mark its first season in the Moss Arts Center with a special gala celebration featuring R&B and jazz vocalist Natalie Cole and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are now available for the black-tie event, which will be held on Saturday, April 26.
The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. The evening includes a pre-performance reception at 6:45 p.m., featuring an array of heavy hor d'oeuvres and special musical performances throughout the building. The celebration continues with an after-party immediately following the performance at 10:30 p.m.
The Virginia Symphony Orchestra anchors the evening’s event. Under the direction of Benjamin Rous, the orchestra will perform a selection of classical pieces featuring teen violin prodigy Brendon Elliott, a native of Hampton Roads, Va. Cole will join the orchestra during the second half of the program.
The daughter of jazz and pop legend Nat King Cole, vocalist, recording artist, and songwriter Natalie Cole forged a successful career that has included soul-rooted music, pop-oriented R&B material, and traditional pop.
Cole’s debut album, “Inseparable,” garnered her a number one single, "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)," and her first two Grammy awards. She has won a total of nine Grammys, including Album of the Year in 1992 and Best Traditional Vocal Pop Album in 2009.
Cole fully embraced traditional pop with the 1991 album “Unforgettable...With Love,” which reached number one on the Billboard album chart, sold over 5 million copies, and included the title track — a duet with her father (via his 1961 recording). Last year, Cole released “En Español,” and all-Spanish set similar to some of her father's late 1950s releases. Cole is joined on this album by Andrea Bocelli, Juan Luis Guerra, Arturo Sandoval, and her late father on "Acércate Más" ("Come Closer to Me"), where she accompanies his 1958 version.
The Virginia Symphony is Southeastern Virginia’s premier professional symphony orchestra. Founded in 1920, it is ranked in the top ten percent of professional orchestras nationwide and serves the entire Southeastern Virginia region with classics, pops, and family concert series, as well as performances in outlying Virginia and North Carolina communities for more than 200,000 concert-goers every year. Additionally, the orchestra annually reaches 63,000 children, students and lifelong learners with its education and community programs. The Virginia Symphony has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Tickets are $110-$150 per person and include pre- and post-performance events. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, noon to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.
Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
Launched in 2005 as an arts initiative, Virginia Tech Arts encompasses efforts university-wide to expand creative practice and support interdisciplinary learning, engagement, and discovery through the arts. The cornerstone project of Virginia Tech Arts is the Moss Arts Center, which houses the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech professional presenting program; the university-level Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; and television and lab spaces for the Department of Communication.
Arts and technology merge form new landscapes at Virginia Tech. The community can see, hear, feel, and participate in this merger, spurred by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.