Beating the Blues

Michael Repper, a hot ticket in conducting circles, regularly guest conducts orchestras all over the world. With infectious enthusiasm, he’s secured a reputation for not only exciting audiences across all spectrums, but also for promoting new and diverse talents. The youngest North American conductor to win a Grammy® Award in Best Orchestral Performance (for the New York Youth Symphony’s “Works by Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, and Valerie Coleman”), Repper and his baton can often be found in Virginia—as music director of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Neck Orchestra of Virginia based in Kilmarnock. In Easton, Maryland, he’s music director of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. As the temperatures drop, we couldn’t wait to ask him what he recommends listening to that will chase the winter blues away. Here’s his list, along with a few notes. 

Kevin Puts | Symphony No. 2, River’s Rush, Flute Concerto (Marin Alsop)

I guarantee this album from 2016 will put a smile on your face. In fact, it’s impossible to listen to the end of the flute concerto and not jump for joy (and clap along!) Also, Marin Alsop is the hero for us all.

Kevin Puts

Samara Joy | Linger Awhile

Samara Joy is an incredible young jazz vocalist whose captivating voice always sets the perfect mood. Grab your cozy blanket, your favorite cup of something, and spin this album to set the perfect mood for your winter snow day.

Samara Joy

Imani Winds | Imani Winds

This eponymous 2006 album from the Imani Winds radiates warmth. You’ll hear this inspired wind quintet take on beloved classics like Ravel’s “Tombeau de Couperin,” and you’ll fall in love with new standards like Valerie Coleman’s “Umoja” (“Unity”). If you get the chance to see Imani Winds in-person, do it! You’ll thank me later!

Imani Winds

Neave Trio | Her Voice—Piano Trios by Beach, Clarke, Farrenc

The Neave Trio is the resident trio at VCU, and here you experience why. Their clarity of tone, ensemble, and musicianship are second to none. To hear music that is lively yet contemplative, I put on this album—it features music from composers who have been historically underrepresented. 

Neave Trio

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields | Mozart’s Symphony 35 and 41

This is possibly my favorite album of all time. Here, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields captures every single possible minute detail in Mozart’s music and plays with unmatched passion and fire. In the 41st symphony, Mozart’s last, the pure perfection of the Academy is guaranteed to bring you plenty of joy this winter. 


June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum