Queens of Soul for New Years - TribPapers

Queens of Soul for New Years

Asheville Symphony’s Music Director Darko Butorac, 2021.

Asheville – Ring in the New Year in style with the Asheville Symphony’s Queens of Soul concert: an evening of motown, rythm & blues, and soul hits, featuring guest vocalists Morgan James and Erica Gabriel. 

The concert takes place Friday, December 31 at 8:00 p.m. in Thomas Wolfe Auditorium at Harrah’s Cherokee Center under the baton of ASO Music Director Darko Butorac.

The evening’s program features a variety of musical favorites including Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Whitney Houston and Marvin Gaye — plus additional music surprises that will be announced from the stage. 

“We are so pleased to present these two stellar vocalists, performing instantly recognizable songs, backed by your Asheville Symphony,” said ASO Executive Director Daniel Crupi. “This will be a not-to-miss evening of music and celebration, featuring the perfect program to ring in the New Year.”

About the Guest Vocalists

Morgan James

Heralded by The Wall Street Journal as “the most promising young vocalist to come along so far this century,” Morgan James has established herself as a formidable presence in the music world. After graduating from The Juilliard School with a classical music degree, and performing in the original companies of five Broadway productions, James began writing and recording her own music. In addition to her three studio albums recorded with Epic Records, James has recorded and released a full album cover of Joni Mitchell’s seminal “Blue” as well as The Beatles’ “White Album” in 2018 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. 

With viral sensation postmodern jukebox, and her own channel, Morgan has amassed more than 250 million views — and climbing — on YouTube. Over the last several years, James has built her own empire and established herself as a touring powerhouse, allowing her to raise the funds to create her albums and make every decision from the ground up.

Vocalist Erica Gabriel, also an award winning performer and instructor. Photo Submitted.

Erica Gabriel

Erica Gabriel received her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Oakwood University. Her training also includes a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Savannah Philharmonic, and the Jackson Symphony. She was cast in Ravinia’s production of Bernstein’s Mass under the baton of Marin Alsop, which later aired on the award-winning PBS Great Performances television series. Her competition credits include the Alma Blackmon Scholarship Award, winner of the Classical Singer Regional University Competition, winner of the Hartford Memorial Scholarship Competition, and the 2018 Gold Medal winner of the American Traditions Vocal Competition.

Safety Policies

The Asheville Symphony is dedicated to its audience members’ safety and comfort. As this event takes place within Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville in Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, the ASO’s COVID-19 safety policies and procedures align the policy of its venue. Masks will be required within Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville for attendees, vendors, and staff unless actively eating or drinking. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (or a negative result of a COVID-19 diagnostic test taken within 72 hours of the event) will be required to enter Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville. For more information on the Asheville Symphony’s COVID-19 safety policies, visit www.ashevillesymphony.org/covid-19-safety-policies/.

Tickets for Asheville Symphony New Year’s Eve: Queens of Soul start at $40 for adults and $35 for youth (prices vary by seating section). Tickets can be purchased online at ashevillesymphony.org, by phone at 828-254-7046, in person at the Asheville Symphony office at 27 College Pl., Suite 100, or at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville Box Office.

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