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Kevin Robison’s aptly titled “Fantasia on Appalachian Folk Songs” is exquisitely, intimately crafted from the heart. It takes a true child of Appalachia to remain faithful to source materials while ably expanding these musical ideas for symphony orchestra and soloist.

— Dr. James F. Daugherty, Associate Professor Emeritus
Choral/Vocal Pedagogy
University of Kansas

Written for American Tenor Roy Cornelius Smith and Symphony of the Mountains, this new work for voice and orchestra evokes the spirit and majesty of the Appalachian region through contemporary settings of five popular folk songs: The Sunny South, Barbara Allen, The True Lover's Farewell, The Farmer's Curst Wife, and Pretty Saro. Read about the history of the piece in the blog.

2 Flutes (1 Dbl Piccolo), 2 Clarinets, 1 Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons
3 Horns, 3 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba
Timpani, 2 Percussion, Harp, Piano, Guitar/Banjo
High Voice, Strings

Available September 2024 at



JULY 19 - 21, 2024
Chetola Lake, Blowing Rock, NC
University of Virginia at Wise
Allendale Mansion, Kingsport, TN

Cornelia Laemmli Orth, Conductor, is in her eighteenth season as Music Director of Symphony of the Mountains. She served as Associate Conductor and later Principal Guest Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony from 2002-2008. In September 2019 she had her debut with Opera Ithaca in Ithaca, NY in several performances of La Bohème, and in February 2020 she appeared as guest conductor of the Kansas Intercollegiate Orchestra at the Wesleyan University in Salina, KS. In October 2017 she appeared as guest conductor with the Brevard Philharmonic in Brevard, NC. In Europe, she was music director of the Operetta Theatre in Möriken, Switzerland, guest assistant conductor under Philippe Jordan at La Scala in Milano, Italy, worked with the Bohuslav Orchestra in the Czech Republic, and conducted many concerts with choirs and ad hoc orchestras with musicians from the Zurich Opera House and the Tonhalle Orchestra. Cornelia received her Lehrdiplom in piano from the Conservatory at Winterhur and graduated from the Conservatory and University in Zurich with her master’s in music education. She obtained her Masters in Orchestra Conducting from Northwestern University, where she studied under Victor Yampolsky. 

Roy Cornelius Smith, Tenor, has established himself among the ranks of the finest tenors of his generation through his voice of exceptional color and beauty, his compelling dramatic interpretations, and outstanding musicianship. He has been heard on some of the world's great operatic stages including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Salzburger Festspiele, and the New Israeli Opera. He has also appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure as an ensemble member with the National theater Mannheim, Mr. Smith appeared as Calaf, Cavaradossi, Don Jose, Siegmund in Der Ring an einem Abend, Pinkerton, Turiddu, Canio and Otello with Krassimira Stoyanova conducted by Dan Ettinger. He also premiered numerous new productions including Dick Johnson in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West directed by Tilman Knabe, the title role in Don Carlo directed by Jens-Daniel Herzog, Max in Der Freischütz directed by Armin Holz, Hagenbach in La Wally directed by Tilman Knabe, Dionysus in Die Bassariden by Henze directed by Frank Hilbrich, and Eléazar in La Juive directed by Peter Konwitschny.

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