Western Piedmont Symphony Pops Into The Holidays This December

The concert will feature North Carolina Artists Julia Woodward, Jonathan Kaufman, and Matt Sickels.

By: Nov. 25, 2023
Western Piedmont Symphony Pops Into The Holidays This December

Western Piedmont Symphony (WPS), the professional orchestra of the western foothills of North Carolina, will present the annual FOOTHILLS POPS: HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR featuring music of the season on Friday, December 1, at 7:30 PM at J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir, NC. Led by Maestro Matthew Troy, the Western Piedmont Symphony will perform classic Christmas songs, seasonal movie music, and an electrifying array of family-favorites holiday hits along with featured guest artists soprano Julia Woodward, tenor Jonathan Kaufman, and electric guitarist Matt Sickels.

Western Piedmont Symphony FOOTHILLS POPS: HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR is sponsored by the Broyhill Family Foundation, the Bernhardt Furniture Foundation, Imagine One Hospitality, US Conec. an Anonymous Angel, and with generous support from the United Arts Council of Catawba County and the North Carolina Arts Council. The FOOTHILLS POPS series is presented in partnership with the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center.

FOOTHILLS POPS tickets are $30, $40, $50 for adults, and $10 (17 and under or with valid student ID). Family Holiday 4-Pack (two adults and two children) only $90 (valid only for Section B seats). To purchase tickets, visit the link below, call 828.324.8603, or visit the WPS Box Office, located on the SALT Block at 243 Third Avenue NE, Hickory, NC, 28601. Box Office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mon. - Fri. J.E. Broyhill Civic Center is located at 1913 Hickory Blvd, Lenoir, NC 28645 (on Highway 321). Please note: All programs, artists, venues, prices, and dates are subject to change.

Western Piedmont Symphony's 2023-2024 season - MUSIC FOR YOU - expresses human stories and connections evident in each of the works or composers represented. The 59th season continues in 2024 with Crossroads Concert with the Ariel Pocock and Chad Eby Jazz Duo on Thursday, January 18, 2024, and Masterworks: Carmina Burana featuring 150 singers in one of the 20th century's most spellbinding and immersive classical music experiences on Friday, February 9, 2024. For more information about the Western Piedmont Symphony 2023-2024 season of concerts and events, visit wpsymphony.org.

About the Artists:

A soprano on the rise, Julia Rose Woodward, is making waves early on in her operatic career. Praised for her warm, rich tone and honest storytelling, Woodward brings a fresh and authentic voice to each project she takes on. Woodward's previous credits include: Lola in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Laetitia (cover) in Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, Doctor 2 in Redler's The Falling and The Rising, Musetta (cover) in Puccini's La Boheme, Frasquita (cover) in Bizet's Carmen, Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Zweite Dame in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Maguelonne in Viardot's Cendrillon, The Maid in Menotti's Amelia al ballo, and Street Singer in Bernstein's MASS. In addition, she has been a soprano soloist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Western Piedmont Symphony. Woodward attended Charleston County School of the Arts and Brevard Music Center in her formative years. She holds her M.M. from the University of South Carolina and her B.M. from Furman University. She resides in Charlotte, NC, and is a student of Victoria Livengood. juliarosewoodward.wixsite.com/opera

Tenor Jonathan Kaufman possess a voice of entrancing power, beauty, and finesse, which he employs with considerable technique and musicianship. Hailed for his portrayal of Pinkerton in Winter Opera St. Louis' production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, "Tenor Jonathan Kaufman, as Pinkerton, has a voice so grand-even heroic-that there are many times when, lost in the glory of that voice, we quite forget what a cad the Lieutenant is. Superb!" Steve Callahan of Broadway World makes it clear why Kaufman is quickly ascending the ranks as one of the greatest tenors of his generation. In the current season, Kaufman will make returns to Opera Carolina for their production of Tosca, covering Cavaradossi, and Winter Opera St. Louis as Macduff in Macbeth. Additionally, he makes several débuts including Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with New Orleans Opera, Rodolfo in La bohème with Opera Western Reserve, as a soloist with Western Piedmont Symphony in their Foothills Pops holiday concert and will return to Aiken Symphony Orchestra for their Home for the Holidays concert. Future seasons see returns to the roles of Rodolfo in La bohème, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Don José in Carmen. jonathankaufmantenor.com/

Matt Sickels is a professional musician, guitarist specializing in education and performance. Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, Sickels has studied music and the guitar in a variety of styles including jazz, rock, pop, funk, blues, alternative, Latin and classical. He was born in Akron, Ohio, and he began playing the guitar at the age of 12. It was not long before he developed a strong repertoire and a love for all styles of music. Strongly influenced by the music of Carlos Santana, Miles Davis, and Joe Pass, Sickels went on to further his studies in the highly renowned Jazz Studies Program at the Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, where he received his certification in Guitar Performance with an emphasis on Jazz Studies. After completing his studies in Cleveland, he moved to Atlanta to attend the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media's Guitar Studies program. Today, Sickels works and performs with a number of groups and small combo arrangements throughout the Southeast and mid-west United States and has been involved in several recording projects. He has written several compositions and continues to write music that is performed by professional musicians. Sickels continues to indulge his passion for the guitar, and teaches guitar and music theory privately to roughly 30 students weekly. six-strings.net/

About Western Piedmont Symphony:

Western Piedmont Symphony (WPS) is the professional orchestra of the western foothills of North Carolina, based in Hickory. For 59 years, WPS has enriched and engaged the communities of western North Carolina through high-quality symphonic music with creative, relevant performances, and educational opportunities for all ages. Each season, the Symphony presents an inspiring classical Masterworks series, a fun and unique Foothills Pops series, varying ensembles in the Crossroads series, family-friendly Discovery concerts, plus education and community engagement programs in the Catawba Valley, all under the artistic direction of Maestro Matthew Troy. Western Piedmont Symphony is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council and is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. Business offices are located on the SALT Block at 243 Third Avenue NE, Hickory. Box Office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mon. - Fri. For more information about Western Piedmont Symphony, call 828-324-8603, visit wpsymphony.org, or email info@wpsymphony.org. Follow Western Piedmont Symphony on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, X.