Finals in the competition to perform in the GSO’s production of Beethoven’s 9th are open to the public

A photo of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra chorus in performance

Photo credit: Chris Savas Photography — Georgia Symphony’s May 18-19 performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony will feature the winners of a nationwide vocal competition

The public will get a rare chance to hear finalists auditioning for vocal roles in one of Beethoven’s best-known symphonies, the 9th. This choral symphony is one of the most frequently performed works from the classical era and is widely recognized as one of the greatest achievements of Western classical music.

The Marietta-based Georgia Symphony Orchestra announced in a press release that it will conclude its Beethoven’s 9th Vocal Competition with an afternoon of performances by 12 finalists on Sunday, March 3, 2024, from 3-5 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church in Marietta

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In this final judging round, open to the public, vocalists will compete in one of four voice categories, and for the opportunity to perform as a featured soloist in the GSO’s May 18-19 performance of this inspiring work.

Each vocalist will perform excerpts from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, along with a musical selection of their choosing.

According to the news release:

The finalists will be judged by bass/baritone vocalist and recording artist Oral Moses, soprano vocalist and Opera Panama director Irena Sylya and GSO Music Director and Conductor Timothy Verville. Winners also will receive a $2,000 honorarium, hotel accommodations and up to $500 reimbursement for travel expenses.

“We created the competition in order to provide an equal and open opportunity for vocalists across the country to compete for an opportunity to perform with the Symphony, regardless of background,” said Verville.

Finalists include sopranos Sarah Heilman, Emma Robertson and Yun Xie; altos Tetyana Vakhnovska, Maria McDaniel and MunTzung Wong; tenors Alexander Adkins, William Green and Matthew Perez; and bass/baritones Alexander Adams-Leytes, Wil Kellerman and Jacob Lay.

General admission tickets are $10. For more information, and to purchase tickets online, visit

About the Georgia Symphony Orchestra

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra began in 1951 with the formation of the Marietta Music Club.

According to the GSO website:

The music room of Arthur F. Moor’s home on 383 Church Street in Marietta would establish the foundations for what would evolve over the next sixty-plus years. Talented local musicians would come together to create and share wonderful music with audiences. From 1955 until 1989, Betty Shipman Bennett conducted the orchestra through this long period of development. The music club grew to become the Marietta Community Symphony.

The orchestra was later renamed the Cobb Symphony as more professional musicians were added to the staff, and in 2011 it became the Georgia Symphony Orchestra.

The GSO states as its mission:

The mission of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra is to enrich our community through accessible, high quality musical and educational experiences that instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts.