Moultrie Observer

Local News

February 17, 2012

ABAC presents Valdosta Symphony Orchestra in Tifton on Sunday

TIFTON — The Valdosta Symphony Orchestra with guest conductor Edward Cumming and harpist Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton will perform in Tifton on Feb. 19 as a part of the “ABAC Presents!” Performing Arts Series, sponsored by the Arts Connection at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The concert will be held at 3 p.m. at the Tift County High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets for the performance can be purchased online at or by phone at (229) 391-4895.

The Valdosta Symphony Orchestra performance, “Symphonie Fantastique!”, will feature Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” Gliere’s “Harp Concerto in E-flat Major, Opus 74,” and Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique.”

Cumming is director of orchestral activities and associate professor of music at The Hartt School.  He just completed his final season as music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Cumming was also resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony and served as resident conductor of the Florida Orchestra, where he    conducted a recording of the “Star Spangled Banner” with Whitney Houston and the Florida Orchestra for Super Bowl XXV.  

He has taught at colleges all over the country and has led orchestras in Spain, the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Serbia, and Italy. Last year, he made his South American debut with the Filarmónica de Bogotá.

Gorton recently joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as principal harp for the 2011-2012 season. As an orchestral player she has performed with the Pittsburgh, Boston and Hartford symphony orchestras. She has been a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since 2001, after having participated in the National Repertory Orchestra of America. Gorton has been an active participant in the Strings Chamber Music Festival, as well as the music festivals at Aspen, Tanglewood and Interlachen.

She earned two degrees in harp performance from The Juilliard School of Music under the tutelage of Nancy Allen and has also studied with Gretchen Van Hoesen, Anne Marguerite-Michaud and Elizabeth Fontan-Binoche. She was awarded first place in the Young Professional Division of the American Harp Society National Competition. She was also the winner of an Anne Adams Award, the Victor Salvi Award and the Lennox Young Artist Competition for her performance of Gliere’s “Concerto for Harp and Orchestra.” She also won the Juilliard School concerto competition playing Mozart’s “Concerto for Flute and Harp” and received first prize at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Solo Competition. She was invited back to ASTA to be a guest lecturer and master class clinician at the 2012 National Conference held in Atlanta.

Gorton has been featured twice as a soloist on “From the Top” on American National Public Radio. She has taught master classes at Carnegie Mellon University, Tulane University, and many others. In 2010 she joined the faculty of the Advanced Chamber Music Seminar Summer Camp in Pittsburgh.

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