Guilty Pleasures Ticket/Wine & Chocolate Box



Sunday, March 20, 2022
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Join us from the comfort of your home on Sunday, March 20, 2022, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., for our virtual fundraiser “Guilty Pleasures: A Night of Wine, Chocolate, and Opera.”  The event features wine and chocolate  pairings by Sommelier Carrie Elliott Reese with wines from around the world and scrumptious gourmet chocolates from a local chocolatier. Savor your sweet chocolate treats as you listen to the sweetest sounds on earth, performed by musicians of The Hershey Symphony Orchestra, and renowned opera singer and Central Pennsylvania favorite, Gwendolyn Bowers.

Performances include Habanera from Carmen, Dance of the Tumblers from Snow Maiden, and Danse Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah, in addition to other selections. Dr. Dackow and Ms. Bowers will provide introductions for each of the musical selections. Participants will pick up their special wine and chocolate boxes in Hershey the day of the event.

Instructions for pick up and a link with exclusive access to the event will be sent after registration.


The cost is $75 per wine and chocolate box, with all proceeds benefiting the Hershey Symphony Orchestra.

Reservations are limited. Save your spot before the deadline on March 14th!

The non-deductible values of certain benefits are noted in parentheses. If you accept these benefits, you must subtract their value from your total contribution when you file your tax return. The Hershey symphony Orchestra’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Contributions will be credited in the fiscal year they are received. Official registration and financial information of the Hershey Symphony Orchestra Society may be obtained from the PA Department of State by calling toll free, within PA, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.


About Gwendolyn Bowers, Vocalist:

Gwendolyn Bowers, mezzo-soprano completed her degree in vocal performance at the Eastman School of Music followed by a two-year grant as an apprentice with Houston Grand Opera and the University of Houston. She continued by winning grants and awards including a Metropolitan Opera Regional award and grants that took her to Italy for two summers. In addition to working with opera companies and orchestras, Ms. Bowers has raised funds for charities and participated in educational outreach in various parts of the world including Japan and Australia.

Gwendolyn’s European debut was in the title role of Carmen where she appeared in Paris, Geneva, Lisbon, and Seville. Her New York debut was with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Kurt Mazur. She has sung the opera companies of Dallas, Houston, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and toured with New York City opera. The roles of Rosina (Barber of Seville), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Angelina (La Cenorentola), Madame Flora (The Medium) and most recently Ulrica (Un ballo in Maschera) are a portion of her repertoire of accomplishments. She has sung orchestra performances of Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, Alexander Nevsky, Beethoven’ Ninth Symphony, El Amor Brujo, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mahler’s Third Symphony, Mozart Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah. While in Italy Gwendolyn sang arias in concert in Riccone, Italy and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Atri and Imola, Italy coached by the late great Giulietta Simionata. The Cleveland Orchestra chose Ms. Bowers to sing a commissioned work to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

She resides and teaches private students in Palmyra, PA.


About Maria Thompson Corley, Accompanist:

Jamaican-born pianist Maria Thompson Corley was raised in Canada. She has appeared on radio, television, and/or concert stages in Canada, the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Europe, both as a solo and collaborative artist, including performances in Budapest at the Liszt Academy, and in Carnegie Recital Hall, Aaron Davis Hall and Alice Tully Hall, all in New York City.

She has collaborated with such artists as Metropolitan Opera soprano Priscilla Baskerville, Juno Award-winning clarinetist James Campbell, Grammy-winning clarinetist Doris Hall-Gulati, Grammy-nominated baritone Randall Scarlata, and members of the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestras. Her performances as soloist with orchestra include engagements with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gunther Schuller. She has also performed with the Philadelphia-based Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, directed by Jeri-Lynne Johnson.

Dr. Corley has recorded for Naxos, Albany, and others. Her latest releases are “Soulscapes 2” (MSR Classics) featuring piano music by Black women from here and abroad and “Soul Sanctuary” (Navona), consisting of her arrangements of spirituals and hymns (Maria Clark, soprano; Ismail Akbar, cello).

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