The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra opens its 86th season in the place it was born — Oglebay Park — with a Veranda Reception at the Burton Center prior to the Music Under the Stars concert set for Sunday, Sept. 6.
It was 86 years ago in 1929, when the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra was founded. The first concert was performed on the Clubhouse Porch at Oglebay Park. Today’s Veranda Reception at the site of the Clubhouse Porch begins at 5 p.m.
“A traditional close to the summer, the Music Under the Stars concert of the Wheeling Symphony harkens back to the founding of the orchestra performing in Oglebay Park,” Bruce Wheeler, executive director of the WSO, said. “Our 86th season begins in the place we were born 86 years ago.”
Kicking off the free concert will be Suzuki Strings led by Janet Sparks at 6:20 p.m. The WSO concert will feature vocalist David Gaschen beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheatre, Oglebay. Fireworks will follow the music.
“I’m excited by the return of David Gaschen as guest artist with the Wheeling Symphony. A Broadway professional and a very great guy, David did a July tour with the orchestra in 2011,” Wheeler said.
Gaschen, an internationally renowned vocalist and stage performer, remains best known for the years he devoted to the title character in “The Phantom of the Opera.” He has performed the role of the Phantom more than 1,300 times.
“I love singing in outdoor venues. I rarely get the chance, but I love the relaxed atmosphere, and the surroundings are all beautiful,” Gaschen said.
Gaschen will be singing songs from his self-titled CD, including “There’s a Hero,” “Always There,” “Come What May,” “When the Night Falls,” and a few others, he said.
“I am really excited to be back with Andre and the wonderful symphony. It is always an honor and a privilege.”
Some of the other pieces to be performed by the orchestra include “The Pink Panther,” “An American in Paris,” “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Wedding March” from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
“It’s a great evening to pack a picnic with the family or join us on the veranda in raising a glass to 86 years of the Wheeling Symphony providing great orchestra music to the Ohio Valley,” Wheeler said.
Tickets to the Veranda Reception can be purchased by calling the Wheeling Symphony office at 304-232-6191. The concert is free.
In case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Capitol Theatre and the reception to the Capitol Ballroom. Announcements will be made on the WSO website, Facebook page, and by the office telephone by noon the day of the event.
Oglebay Park Photos By LeeRoy, “Starry Night” Feature Image by Vincent Van Gogh, courtesy of wikimedia