Waynesboro Symphony Wins 2024 Distinguished Arts Circle Award


Harrisonburg, Virginia, June 21, 2024 – The Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra (WSO) in Waynesboro, Virginia, under the leadership of Music Director Peter Wilson, has been awarded the 2024 Outstanding Arts Circle Award after the James Presented by the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at Madison University (JMU) on Thursday, June 20, 2024. Valley, a group of individuals and organizations that enhances and strengthens cultural communities by promoting and championing excellence in the arts.

The Arts Circle of Excellence Award honors a visual or performing artist, arts administrator, arts educator, or organization in Augusta or Rockingham County, Harrisonburg, Staunton, or Waynesboro who has made an impact in the arts Significant and outstanding achievements in the field have enhanced the cultural vitality of Silicon Valley.

Since its founding in 1996, the WSO has become one of Silicon Valley’s most dynamic and respected music organizations, supporting outstanding performances and outstanding educational outreach. It provides a unique opportunity for amateur, student and professional musicians to share the joy of music making while preparing and performing challenging repertoire. World Symphony Orchestra performances range from classical masterpieces to contemporary works and American pop music. The WSO’s commitment to providing free, accessible musical performances and providing free instrument instruction while supporting music appreciation underscores their impact as this year’s Circle of Arts Excellence Award winner.

“Under Peter Wilson’s inspired leadership, the Waynesboro Symphony has become one of the Valley’s most beloved musical institutions,” said Regan Byrne, executive director of the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. “They are shining examples of what the Arts Excellence Awards should honor and enrich our community’s cultural landscape in positive ways.”

Music Director Peter Wilson has had a major influence on the WSO since 2007, encouraging rapid growth in all aspects of this largely volunteer music organization. Wilson, who began his career as concertmaster of the Walt Disney World Symphony, is the former senior enlisted music adviser to the White House, where he served as Navy violinist for 30 years, supporting five U.S. presidents. In 2020, he received the Medal of Merit following his retirement as the String Section Commander of the “President’s Personal” United States Marine Corps Band. noticed Washington post As a “Class”, Wilson has led the WSO to new heights, including winning an American Award for “Best Community Orchestra Performance” in 2021. Wilson is widely respected by band players for his positive attitude and unwavering support. He brought out the best in every musician.

“Symphony orchestras have the power to move people and create life-changing experiences that, in turn, can profoundly impact communities. I have seen firsthand the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra have such a profound impact on audiences,” said Wilson . He is committed to ensuring that the WSO is seen as teaching orchestra Allowing them to expand their presence in Silicon Valley. For the 2021-2022 season, they launched the inaugural Young Artists Concerto Competition, which awards high school musicians with prize money and the opportunity to solo in a WSO concert.

Going forward, the WSO will continue to explore new repertoire, commission new works from contemporary American composers, and actively support young artists, while maintaining the excellence the organization has established as an award-winning community orchestra.

Past recipients of the Outstanding Arts Circle Award:

2023 – Heifetz International Conservatory of Music, Staunton, Virginia

2022 – Earlynn J. Miller, Harrisonburg, VA

2021 – Harrisonburg International Festival, Harrisonburg, Virginia

2020 – Shenandoah Valley Choral Society, Harrisonburg, VA

2019 – Staunton-Augusta Arts Center, Staunton, VA, Shenandoah Valley Arts Center, Waynesboro, VA
2018 – Pamela McCray, Shenandoah Civic Dance Company and Staunton Ballet Academy, Staunton, VA

2017 – Joanne V. Gabbin, Ph.D., JMU Center for Angry Flower Poetry, Harrisonburg, VA

2016 – American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, Virginia

2015 – Ken Nafziger, Bach Festival, Harrisonburg, VA

2014 – OASIS Fine Art & Craft, Harrisonburg, VA

2013 – Stan Swartz – Harrisonburg High School, Harrisonburg, Virginia

About Forbes Center for the Performing Arts:
James Madison University’s Forbes Center for the Performing Arts is the Shenandoah Valley’s premier world-class performing arts center for theater, dance and music. Audiences of all ages are welcome to enjoy performances from internationally renowned artists, renowned JMU faculty, and young talents from JMU’s School of Music and Theater and Dance. Located directly across from Wilson Hall on the west side of South Main Street in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the Forbes Center completes the historic “Quad” on the JMU campus and consists of five state-of-the-art performance venues with spaces ranging from 200 to 600 seats.

About the Valley Arts Council:
Arts Council of the Valley (ACV) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating the arts, creating experiences and connecting communities in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Since its founding in 2000, ACV has grown into a multifaceted community organization dedicated to fostering innovative partnerships among area businesses, civic organizations, schools and artists. Today, ACV manages the Court Square Theater and Smith House Galleries, funds local arts projects through its Advancing the Arts grant program (more than $498,300 awarded since 2001), supports public art events, and Coordinates monthly first Friday valley community gatherings.

About James Madison University School of Visual and Performing Arts:
The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is the center for creativity and the arts at James Madison University, housing the schools of art, design and art history, music, and theater and dance. CVPA focuses on combining high-level artistic training with entrepreneurial action and integrating practical training with liberal arts studies. The College also provides innovative opportunities through the Office of Creative Outreach, the Madison Art Collection, and the Lisandby Museum.



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