"As for the opening Prokofiev, with its nod to Haydn, it was everything it should have been — light, lyrical, delicate and jovial, as was the Beethoven simply sunny, light hearted and of good cheer. Both were given neat as a pin performances — clean, concise, exacting, cohesive and enthusiastic, making this an appropriately fond (and well played) farewell for Hymes and a chance for us to recall and be grateful for her valued efforts in shaping the WSO and its excellence."

John Shulson, Virginia Gazette
WSO, Hymes open her final season beautifully

"...Monday‘s opening concert in the intimate Kimball Theatre provided us the chance to begin to reflect on the years’ worth of delight she and the WSO have brought us. A strong base of musical excellence has been set,.... The evening’s high point was the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D Major, selected by the audience last season as one of its top favorites selections. And, to do it justice, the WSO featured Stefan Jackiw who appeared here in 2013 in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2. ...Again, we have the talents of Hymes to thank for the superior work done in this opening concert. The beginning of the end of a rewarding era."

John Shulson, The Virginia Gazette

"The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra delivered one of its biggest programs under the Janna Hymes earlier this month in the cavernous large Williamsburg Community Chapel. And the venue size was important in that it featured Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9 in D minor and a chorus of some 230 people. Since we have no performing space to accommodate such an huge undertaking, the Chapel with its rock solid acoustics was the natural place for this important musical happening. ....The orchestra was on top of its game in meeting its challenges, the sounds embracing the notable lyricism and power of the piece. The vocalists, drawn from the Williamsburg Choral Guild, Virginia Wesleyan University Singers, Virginia Choral Society, and CNU Chamber Choir--Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus, were obviously well trained as individual organizations and performed strongly and splendidly as a unified group under Hymes, capturing the celebratory spirit of Schiller‘s German text and its call to freedom and brotherhood. The sound was massive and mighty."

John Shulson, The Virginia Gazette

"At home in the Paladium as the Center for the Performing Arts' local resident orchestra, the Carmel Symphony Orchestra is adding luster to its history with a new music director in her first season.

Janna Hymes and the 85-piece ensemble delivered hearts and flowers to the CSO's supportive audience Saturday night with a concert that included a seasonally appropriate premiere, "Love Letter" by Michael Thurber, a violin concerto written for Tessa Lark, silver medalist in the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis."

Jay Harvey, Jay Harvey Upstage
Popular works hit their marks in WSO season opener

“The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra’s opening concert for the 2017-18 season Monday in the Kimball Theatre got off to a sprightly start with “Bounce,” a work written in 2013 by Adam Schoenberg to celebrate the birth of his son. … Conductor Janna Hymes and orchestra embraced the youthful joy of the work and makes us almost demand to hear more of this engaging composer. … The evening’s spotlight went to guest violin soloist Jennifer Koh in the Sibelius Concerto in D minor, one of the most popularly played works on world stages. … Her credentials were on full display in this WSO performance. Koh’s virtuoso talents were dazzling, her sense of lyricism, delicacy and intensity of heightened and equal quality, and her overall approach of the highest order. Inasmuch as the Sibelius has an overarching orchestral quality to it, with its shared degrees of main stage playing with the violin, the orchestra’s output was equally impressive. Hymes shaped the orchestral lines to reflect the work’s sweeping scope of drama and technical demands, blending them with those of Koh for a perfect product. …What can you say about Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”) that hasn’t been said…. Hymes and musicians embraced it, delivering a soulful and sensitive sounding that, along with the splendid rendering of the remaining segments, made this opening concert a rewarding occasion. (2017-18 season opening concert)"

John Shulson, The Virginia Gazette
WSO's 'hidden gems' now in full daylight

"The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra's "Hidden Gem" program, Tuesday in the Kimball Theatre, was another example of the fine programming skills Janna Hymes brings to her role as conductor and music director. ... Mozart's Symphony No. 36 in C major, subtitled "Linz," a work of a lighter and more soothing nature. ... Hymes and orchestra delivered the "Linz" with clear, concise and highly articulated playing that showcased Mozart's ability to capture and inspire spirit and the WSO's ability to transmit that spirit. ...The real hidden gem on this program was Carl Nielson's Symphony No. 1 in G minor. ...The Nielson is not easy. It's substantial and big. ...Its performance here was the first for the WSO. That this dramatic and intense work was played with the polish and power heard and with markedly limited rehearsal time again illustrates the WSO's deep talent base and its collective dedication and determination to produce high quality music. This is a gem that's not hidden."

Mark Shulson, The Virginia Gazette
Audience gifted by guest maestro and Wiley’s play

“Maestra Hymes has a relaxed, fluid, clear but very expressive conducting style. She elicited a warm, blended sound from the ensemble and paced the passionate climaxes in the Wagner [Siegfried Idyll] work extremely well. The winds and brass were especially fine in executing their difficult parts. Overall, the performance was beautifully shaped. …After the intermission, Hymes conducted the entire string section of the orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s popular Serenade for Strings. Once again she led with a flexible but authoritative control, and brought out the expressive highlights of all four movements, especially in the elegiac Larghetto. …The final movement moved with dazzling swiftness and pulsated with Russian energy, so that the ending was quite exhilarating. As a result, the audience rose to its feet and was rewarded with an encore — the delightful “Pizzicato Polka” by Johann and Joseph Strauss, played with humor and lightness under Hymes’ expert direction.”

Timothy Gaylard, The Roanoke Times
Soundings: Symphonia previews Bermuda performance

"A distinct feather in the Symphonia's cap, and yet another indication of the extraordinary growth this fine orchestra has achieved under the baton of Janna Hymes, the group was invited to perform in the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts. ... The Copland overflows with rich harmonies, lyrical lines, and gentleness.It fit the Symphonia like the proverbial glove, its performance given intense sensitivity and care that was emotionally placed.The flow was flawless and fine.The evening closed with Joplin's "The Entertainer," "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Ragtime Dance."There was ragtime toe tapping all through the audience, making it an appealing conclusion to a rewarding program..."

Shulson, The Virginia Gazette
Soundings: An extraordinary violinist, a rare violin, an unforgettable night

"Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto easily illustrates Barber's keen ability to craft delicate and flowing lines into an intertwined narrative between soloist and orchestra. ... Throughout, [Anne Akiko] Meyers was in total control, highlighting her emotional interpretation, exacting delivery, and red hot technique. ... Conductor Janna Hymes maintained nuanced balance between musicians and soloist, allowing both to shine, carefully creating the musical magic heard here. ... Closing the fare was Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major.Essentially a cheerful composition, Hymes and company offered a rock solid performance filled with spirit, energy, abundant sensitivity in the lovely Adagio and orchestral fire in the Finale."

John Shulson, The Virginia Gazette

“Unquestionably, Janna Hymes is an exceptionally skilled conductor whose artistic and refined style gets to the heart of the music…”

The Virginia Gazette

“Ms. Hymes elicited a robust, energetic sound from the orchestra members, who responded with precise, fresh playing. She has a clear technique and is a confident conductor with an easy rapport.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer

“Appearing almost tiny on the podium, attired primly and properly in conductor’s black, a slim and lithe Janna Hymes wielded a precise baton in providing assured guest leadership of the Madison Symphony Orchestra.”

Wisconsin State Journal

“The big event turned out to be the Prelude and Love-Death from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. From the first yearning notes through all the aching, arching lines of both pieces, the performance made of the music what it can be when the circumstances are right: something almost mystical.”

The Indianapolis Star

“This popular and well-received program was under the very able direction of guest conductor Janna Hymes, whose approach is laid-back but very effective. She got great results with her baton technique and eloquent shading with her left hand. The orchestra was in tip-top form, giving this talented lady and the audience just what they wanted.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch

“The orchestra, led by Janna Hymes, delivered an amazing performance that filled the hall and complimented the singers with a delivery that was even, full and spirited. Ms. Hymes showed easy control and sensitivity to the score and the range of the singers and the roles they were singing. It was a wonderful orchestral performance which lacked nothing. ” USA

“Sunday’s Bangor Symphony concert turned out to be a triumph for musicians, conductor and audience alike. Ms. Hymes used it to explore subtleties of the Classical and Romantic periods of composition in a way seldom heard in this or many other orchestras. Phrases were curved, not flat, bowing was precise- delicate when it needed to be – and intonation blessedly correct. The nuances of playing… always in balance, always together, were superbly led and executed. Brahms Symphony No. 4 completed the evening’s program. Hymes not only rose to the occasion, she created it. What a gift for a conductor to bring, the gift of allowing the innate musicianship of the orchestra to be developed and shared.”

Ellsworth American, Bangor, ME

“Ravel’s ‘Tombeau de Couperin’ let Hymes shape some unusual sonorities, and the orchestra rose to the challenge, bringing to life colorful splashes of sound…. She led the Dvorak Symphony No.9 like it was the world premiere, putting everything she had into all four movements. The New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra responded with playing that matched the high drama of the music. With Hymes on the podium the symphony was a living, breathing event – truly worth attending and hearing.”

Hippo Press, Manchester (NH)

“Each time Hymes conducts, I come away impressed and never more so than after her concert Friday evening. She is an architect, a builder in sound, a conductor with an overall view who never misses details. She brought out the orchestra’s finest feathery qualities. Hymes knows when to put the music on a leash and when to let it run unleashed.”

The Indianapolis Star
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