Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Opens 90th Season With Tribute to Queen of Soul

Aretha: A Tribute, featuring vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Ryan Shaw and conducted by Music Director John Devlin, will open the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra’s 90th season at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at The Capitol Theatre in Wheeling.

“I can think of no better way to start our WSO season at The Capitol than through this tribute concert to the great Aretha Franklin, an artist who meant so much to the American creative landscape,” Devlin said. “She left us just over one year ago, and, by performing her greatest hits, Respect, Natural Woman, Chain of Fools and many others, we will celebrate the anniversary of her passing with vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Ryan Shaw.”

Capathia Jenkins

Jenkins is a Brooklyn-born and raised actress and most recently starred as Medda in the hit Disney production of Newsies on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut in The Civil War, where she created the role of Harriet Jackson. Additional Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Godspell, The Look of Love, Caroline or Change, and Martin Short-Fame Becomes Me.

In addition to her theatrical credits, Jenkins has appeared with orchestras around the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony (with Marvin Hamlisch), National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and many others.

Ryan Shaw

Shaw recently appeared as Judas at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the U.S. premiere of the critically-acclaimed London/Regent’s Park’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which won the Olivier for Best Musical Revival. As a recording artist, Shaw has released three solo Grammy-nominated projects.

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He has toured the world and shared the stage with such artists as Van Halen, Bonnie Raitt, Joss Stone, John Legend, B.B. King, Bruce Hornsby and Jill Scott, to name a few. His orchestral pops concert schedule also includes performing with major orchestras around the country including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philly Pops, Colorado Symphony and others.

John Devlin

“This celebration fits perfectly with the recognition of the WSO’s 90th anniversary, an occasion we will honor throughout our upcoming season. I look forward to seeing everyone at the opening night block party before the show begins, and then for what will be a memorable night in The Capitol Theater,” Devlin said.

The pre-party, catered by Charlie Schlegel from Ye Ole Alpha, will feature food, beer, wine and more, plus a special performance by Ezra Hamilton and the Relativs. The party will take place in the alley adjacent to The Capitol Theatre.

Immediately following the performance, the board of directors invites attendees to stay for a post-show reception with Maestro Devlin and other members of the symphony orchestra.

The concert is sponsored by WesBanco, Axis Energy Solutions and National Road Utility Supply.

Patrons 18 or younger can get tickets for $7.50. Additional discounts are available for college students and groups of 10 or more.

Party tickets are $50 per person. Patrons can purchase a combined party/concert ticket for $65. For reservations, call 304-232-6191 or email boxoffice@wheelingsymphony.com. For  concert tickets, visit wheelingsymphony.com, call 304-232-6191 or email boxoffice@wheelingsymphony.com. Tickets are also available in person at the box office, located at 1025 Main St., Suite 811, Wheeling.