The Williamsburg Symphonia closed its music season in high style with a stylish program that was superbly handled by the musicians under the knowing baton of Janna Hymes. It was a program that was filled with listening pleasures of varied dimension.

In what is a broken-record observation, it is important to realize how fortunate we are to have such quality music readily available in Williamsburg. The impact Hymes and her orchestra have had on our community and its reputation as a go-to place for quality music is more than gratifying. The community support and the orchestra's growing outreach into the community truly enriches our lives.

The featured guest for the evening was cellist Zuill Bailey, a performer internationally noted for his superior playing abilities and, as at least one lady suggested and many more no doubt thought, his handsome presence. Bailey is considered one of the top cellists in today's market and he proved his standing in his performance of the Schumann Cello Concerto in A Minor.

The Schumann's four movements are played without break due to Schumann's dislike of the possibility of applause between movements. It often lends itself toward moodier moments, not surprisingly given his bouts with mood swings. Yet, there's an overall sense of optimism that prevails, buoyed by heightened lyricism and emotional drive.

The concerto is not a virtuoso piece but rather one resembling a dialogue between the instrument and orchestra. That said, it is not without technical demands, which found Bailey impressively handling running passages with fingers (and occasionally his full head of hair) flying. His masterful control of the instrument and the Schumann resulted in a performance of excitement, passion, soulful lyricism, especially in the slower section that approached moments of ethereal quality.

Hymes effectively created a perfect balance between soloist and orchestra, allowing a highly musical dialogue to develop, along with a strong emotional dimension.

He provided an encore of the Prelude of Bach's Suite No. 1. Whereas many treat these unaccompanied gems as technical exercises, Bailey brought to this brief movement an extraordinary lyrical and solo-inspired quality that was defining.

The program closed with a rip roaring performance of Mozart's Symphony No. 41 in C Major, the "Jupiter." In short, it was a thrilling ride that thoroughly tapped into the work's elegance and excitement, offering a smashing close to another rewarding musical season.