Vocalist Holly Romanelli to extend Smithfield Arts Festival weekend

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

By Mary Cole

Contributing writer

Like many performing arts groups, Sundays at Four has cautiously gained renewed momentum as audiences and performers try to lure each other back to live music presentations. Without folks to listen, contribute, and support arts’ efforts in Isle of Wight, organizations cannot possibly continue to bring talented professionals to the area.

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At 4 p.m. Sunday, May 21, Sundays at Four will present another Solo Youth Recital, a full-length vocal program by Suffolk resident Holly Romanelli. A rising junior at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, she is majoring in vocal performance with an intended certificate in Italian language. 

Her program will include an aria from Vivaldi’s Ottone in Villa; “What Good Would the Moon Be?” from Kurt Weill’s Street Scene; a song cycle, “Cowboy Songs” by the American composer Libby Larsen; as well as arias by Mozart.

Holly and her two older musical siblings are known to audiences in Smithfield. They were involved in Smithfield Little Theatre productions, in Renaissance School of the Arts programs during their school years and in area bands – one of their own. Holly and her sister were each Terrific Teen Talent participants. Holly is a graduate of the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk.

There is no ticket charge for this recital, but a freewill offering will be taken to support Holly’s intended overseas studies. This recital will extend the Smithfield Arts Festival weekend through Sunday late afternoon and will be performed in the outstanding acoustics within Christ Episcopal Church on the corner of Church and Main streets in Smithfield’s Historic District where you can view the lovely stained-glass windows from the Tiffany, Lamb, Mayer and Wippell Studios.  

Looking ahead, the Sundays at Four-sponsored Terrific Teen Talent Recital is scheduled for Aug. 6 at 4 p.m., when six teenage musicians will be introduced to the community, each performing a 15-minute mini-recital. 

These amazing Hampton Roads teens are often seen later as professional musicians, and some, like our former teens Sterling Elliot, cellist; Rebecca Willett, pianist; and Andrew Gonzalez, violist, have already been heard on the world stage. How fortunate we are to have seen them perform as teens in Smithfield.

Future Sundays at Four programming for 2023-24 is still in the planning stages as the board determines exactly what funding is available to bring professional talent to the area. These concerts depend on ticket sales and generous donations.  

If you are able to make a contribution to this 501(c)3 organization, please speak to any board member, or call 757 675-5777, or send your contribution to Sundays at Four, P.O. Box 61, Smithfield, VA 23431.