Rolling Forward

Around Town


Very few municipal symphony orchestras conduct business from their own performance venue, let alone a venue located along the beaches of a prestigious island resort. The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra has distinguished itself on many levels in recent years and, coming this fall, HHSO will elevate its brand like never before with a new Lowcountry address and exciting new role in the community.

Mario IncorvaiaSoundWaves is a 7,300-square-foot facility that will open its doors this fall as HHSO’s new home at Coligny Plaza, located on the south end of Hilton Head just steps from the ocean. Operations vice president Mario Incorvaia is steering programming for the new headquarters and is excited about what lies ahead as the HHSO team transitions to 7 Lagoon Road.

“SoundWaves is an incredible opportunity for us to expand our footprint to include performance and rehearsal space with a focus on live music,” he said. “The venue is also a new community resource that will be available for lease by performing and visual arts groups, as well as other Lowcountry partners.”

The venue will include a performance area with capacity for 224 people, executive conference room, state-of-the-art catering kitchen and music library. SoundWaves will host three seasonal HHSO concerts along with SoundBites events, Lean Ensemble Theater performances, concerts by local musicians and many other community-based arts collaborations. Community partners might also be able to arrange some technical and marketing support at their events.

Music director and conductor John Morris Russell will open the HHSO’s 37th season on Oct. 22 with an interactive one-act concert integrating orchestra and media. This dynamic maestro has created an immersive concert experience blending selected movements of popular works for chamber orchestra with dramatic and immersive lighting, photography, video and field recordings.

“This is a sensory treat for the audience with emphasis on the natural elements that are synonymous with SoundWaves … wind, water, the play of light and wildlife that thrives in our island habitat,” Russell said.

Through September, the momentum at SoundWaves will be at a fever pitch, with the construction team executing finishing touches to the building as well as interior installations including furniture, kitchen and performance equipment. HHSO president and CEO Mary Briggs visits the venue daily, meeting with contractors and building community support for the project she initiated and negotiated.

“This is just one more way for us to fulfill our mission of uniting community efforts through collaboration with other cultural organizations,” she said. “At the same time, as we unveil SoundWaves in the weeks ahead, we’re celebrating our unique coastal heritage and promoting the Lowcountry as a significant arts and cultural destination.”