How can a place as cold as ice make you feel all hot-cocoa, blazing-fire, cozy-blanket, favorite-sweater warm?

Maybe it’s those adorable little ones making their way out onto that big ice rink so early in their skating lives. Maybe it’s the teen skaters gliding to greatness or the medaled-professionals who’ve come to wow us with spins and spirals and axels and swizzles.

Maybe it’s the sweet voices of hundreds of area school children.

Maybe it’s the calm rendition of Stille Nacht (Silent Night) when the skaters single-file around the ice, each holding a twinkling candle, all bathed in blue light.

Maybe it’s the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra playing your holiday favorites in the candlelit arena — Hallelujah Chorus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year …

Maybe it’s the whole audience raising their voices in one accord to We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Could it be the crowd-pleasing Nailers taking a spin on their ice?

Or is it that grand finale when Santa’s sleigh is pulled by eight tiny “reindeer” as the “snow” falls from the rafters?

Likely, it’s all of the above.

Symphony on Ice is simply magical — everything about it.

This year, we can look forward to Ashley Wagner and Robbie Przepioski who will take their turns on the ice. Ashley has collected her share of medals: 2016 World silver, 2014 Olympic bronze, among others. And you may remember Robbie — a three-time Championship Men’s competitor at the U.S. Figure Skating Nationals — from last year’s Symphony on Ice.

Skaters from the Pittsburgh and Wheeling skate clubs, the Pittsburgh Theatre on Ice and the Steel City Blades will perform, along with some special surprise guests!

This season’s singers come from Wheeling Park, St. Clairsville, Martins Ferry and Brooke high schools, as well as Bellaire, Long Drain, Triadelphia, Warwood and Wheeling middle schools. More than 350!

Roger Kalia, WSO music director finalist — you may have seen him at the 2018 WSO Celebrate America Fourth of July Tour — returns to wield his baton at Symphony on Ice. He has programmed a jazzy arrangement of “The Nutcracker,” a holiday sing-along and music from the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

So get out those holiday sweaters and get ready for another year of Symphony on Ice — it’ll warm your heart.

• After nearly 38 years as reporter, bureau chief, lifestyles editor and managing editor at The Times Leader, and design editor at The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, Phyllis Sigal has joined Weelunk as managing editor. She lives in Wheeling with her husband Bruce Wheeler. Along with their two children, son-in-law and two grandchildren, food, wine, travel, theater and music are close to their hearts.



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