Symphony to Introduce Final Conductor Candidate

The Conductor Search season is coming to a close on Saturday, April 22. The last conductor finalist of the season, Roger Kalia and the Symphony will be joined by one of Virginia Opera’s Emerging Artists, soprano Katherine Polit. The audience will be wowed by this performance of Samuel Barber’s Knoxsville: Summer of 1915 – a simple, dreamlike depiction of a summer evening in the American South. The Symphony will conclude the 2016-2017 season with Dvorak’s pastoral Eighth Symphony, where the music is inspired by tranquil landscapes, depicting a summer’s day full of passion, dance and humor.

Conductor Candidate

Roger Kalia is the assistant conductor of the Pacific Symphony in Orange County, California, music director of the Pacific Youth Orchestra and music director of Lake George Music Festival in Lake George, New York. He received his bachelor’s of music degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam, his master’s of music in orchestral conducting from the University of Houston and his doctorate in orchestral conducting from Indiana University.

Opportunities to Meet Roger Kalia

Kalia will spend the entire week prior to his concert in Owensboro. In addition to conducting rehearsals with the orchestra, meeting with local officials, donors and sponsors, he will be involved in education and community engagement events that have been scheduled throughout the region.


The community is invited to attend “Coffee with the Conductor” on Wednesday, April 19 , 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Symphony Academy, 211 East Second Street. Chad Benefield hosts this casual question and answer session with Conductor Finalist.

 Specialty sandwiches provided by Specialty Foods Group, Inc.
Coffee provided by Starbucks on Frederica Street.


The community is also encouraged to attend High Notes – a pre-concert conversation led by Roger Kalia. This popular event will provide audiences with an overview of the evening’s performance, insights on the music, composers and historical background. High Notes takes place at 6:15 p.m. in the RiverPark Center –  Holbrook Balcony and is presented free of charge to patrons with tickets for the performance.


About the Guest Artist

Katherine Polit, soprano, has recently finished her tenure with Virginia Opera as an Emerging Artist where she sang Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld and covered Musetta in La Bohème, Johanna in Sweeney Todd and Josephine in H.M.S. Pinnafore. She is thrilled to return to their mainstage in 2017 as Ännchen in Der Freischütz. Other upcoming performances inclue Pamina in The Magic Flute with the Miami Music Festival and Samuel Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915 with the Owensboro Symphony. Katherine has apprenticed with Ohio Light Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Bay View Music Festival, Sugar Creek Opera, and Opera in the Ozarks. She completed her post-graduate studies at Indiana University and holds a Master of Music from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Humanities and Arts from Carnegie Mellon University.



The Saturday, April 22, 2017 concert is sponsored by  Swedish Match.  The guest artist sponsor for the concert is Owensboro Grain.

Specialty Foods Group, Inc. is the Official Sponsor of the Conductor Search.



Single tickets for the performance are $23.00 – $45.00 and are available by phone at 270-687-2787 and at the RiverPark Center box office at 101 Daviess Street, Owensboro.  Student tickets are $10.50 each.