Wheeling Symphony Will Tell “American Stories” with 2022-23 Season

Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (WSO) announces its 2022-23 season, “American Stories,” which will feature an Opening Night Gala Concert with classical music superstar Yo-Yo Ma, a six-concert subscription series in the Capitol Theatre presented by WesBanco, Inc., and a two-concert SoundBites series at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. Community favorites will return to mark holiday celebrations, including the Celebrate America July 4th TourMusic Under the Stars and Symphony on Ice.  

The WSO season will begin in blockbuster fashion on September 29, 2022 with an Opening Night Gala and Concert featuring world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and a special project commissioned by the WSO and Music Director John Devlin for the occasion. Maestro Devlin explains, “This exciting collaboration with Washington D.C.-based Hip Hop artist Christylez Bacon and American composer Evan Meier was conceived nearly two years ago. I worked with Christylez during my time in Washington D.C. in many different capacities and I knew that I wanted to design a project with the WSO that would feature all of his diverse creative talents and unique ability to engage audiences of all types. The resulting piece, Migrations in Rhythm: A Concerto for Beatbox and Rhyme, examines the way that the United States has served as a point of musical intersection for different cultures. Collaboratively, Christylez and I chose another DC-based artist, Evan Meier to write this work that explores the interaction of many different influences as they led to the creation of Funk and Go-go. Styles from West Africa, Coastal Georgia, Ireland, New Orleans, Latin America and Brazil all played a part in the creation of these uniquely American genres of music. Christylez will rap, beat box, play the spoons, and even improvise a freestyle verse in real time as part of the cadenza of this incredible new work.”

Through this project and many others, the WSO will continue its focus on American music during the coming season. Maestro Devlin notes, “I’m proud to say that the music of 13 different American composers will be featured throughout our concerts this season, which is aptly named ‘American Stories’.  The American experience is something unique to each individual and we all have our own stories to tell. Musically, we will explore many different types of American tales — stories of migration, displacement, the ferocity and creativity of women, perseverance in the face of obstacles, and more.”

Following the Opening Night Concert in September, the WSO’s WesBanco Capitol Concert Series will continue with three Masterworks and three Pops concerts. Masterworks highlights include Clarice Assad’s É Gol; Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10; and Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, which was commissioned by opera star Eleanor Steber who was born in Wheeling in 1914. Masterworks audiences will also be treated to Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and works by Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and John Williams. Among the renowned guest artists who will bring their musical mastery to Wheeling are Maxim Lando (piano), Bridgette Gan (soprano), Eunice Kim (violin) and Xavier Foley (double bass). 

The WSO’s Pops concerts will delight audiences of all ages with “Halloween at Hogwarts” and “Jurassic Park in Concert,” which will feature the original film with the WSO performing John Williams’ iconic score. Broadway veteran Morgan James will bring the classic sounds of Memphis to Wheeling with “Symphonic Soul.” James will be joined by Wheeling favorite and GRAMMY-nominee Ryan Shaw who performed on Maestro Devlin’s first concert as the WSO’s Music Director in 2019.

The WSO’s popular SoundBites series will return with two performances at the historic Scottish Rite Cathedral. In October, the orchestra will partner with the Pittsburgh-based chorus Voces Solis. Dr. Ryan Keeling, Artistic Director of Voces Solis, will conduct the chorus and orchestra in their performance of John Corigliano’s Fern Hill, and Maestro Devlin will lead Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Mass for the Endangered. In February, the WSO will stage a “Night at the Italian Opera,” complete with a delicious meal inspired by the influence of Italian Heritage in the Ohio Valley.

In addition to the Capitol and SoundBites Series, the WSO will present a slate of community concerts beginning with the Celebrate America Tour with stops in Weirton, Clarksburg and Canaan Valley before performing at the Heritage Port Amphitheater on July 4. Local favorites Eli Lambie and the Mojo Kings and Hip-Hop artist Isaiah Keez will be joining the orchestra for the tour. The annual Labor Day weekend concert at Oglebay’s Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater will celebrate the music of The Beatles with Jeans n’ Classics’ tribute to the iconic Abbey Road album. The Ohio Valley’s favorite holiday tradition, Symphony on Ice, will return to WesBanco Arena on December 1st.

WesBanco Capitol Concert Series and SoundBites Series subscriptions are on sale now. Capitol Season Subscribers will have first access to tickets for the Opening Night Celebration Gala, which will include cocktails, a gourmet meal AND premium seating for the Opening Night Concert.  Subscribers who do not wish to attend the Gala, will have priority access to tickets for the Opening Night Concert which will be available to the general public beginning August 1, 2022. 

Single tickets for Capitol Series and SoundBites concerts will be available beginning on September 6, 2022.  For ticket pricing and subscription packaging, visit wheelingsymphony.com or call 304-232-6191.

Performance Schedule

Opening Night Gala Celebration: “American Stories with Christylez Bacon, Evan Meier, and Yo-Yo Ma”

September 29, 2022 7:30 pm

Capitol Theatre – Wheeling, WV

The WSO’s artistic mission will be fully embodied in our Opening Night Gala for the 2022-23 season. This special event and concert will boast seven living American creators: Christylez Bacon, Yo-Yo Ma, Caroline Shaw, Enrico Lopez-Yañez, Mason Bates, John Williams and Evan Meier. These artists and composers represent a variety of stories, ages, backgrounds, genders and perspectives— but they will come together on this night to celebrate “American Stories.”

Caroline Shaw: Entr’acte

John Stafford Smith/arr. Enrico Lopez-Yañez: The Star Spangled Banner

Mason Bates: Mothership

John Williams: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

Yo-Yo Ma, cello

Evan Meier and Christylez Bacon: Migrations in Rhythm: A Concerto for Beatbox

and Rhyme (World premiere – WSO commission)

Christylez Bacon, soloist

2022-2023 WesBanco Capitol Concert Series


Masterworks Concerts:

Masterworks 1: “Foley, Kim and a Mayer Masterpiece”

November 17, 2022 7:30 pm

Capitol Theatre – Wheeling, WV

“Foley, Kim and a Mayer Masterpiece” will examine two very specific time periods: Europe in the 1900s and America today – highlighted by great American talent with the duo of Xavier Foley on bass and Eunice Kim on violin. Foley and Kim will perform two works: a showpiece by Bottesini that will deliver spectacular musical moments throughout and a high level of virtuosity from both players, and a piece composed by Mr. Foley himself which was created to mark the 400 years of slavery since the arrival of the slave ship “White Lion” in Jamestown, Virginia.

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Johannes Brahms: Tragic Overture, op. 81

Xavier Foley: For Justice and Peace

Eunice Kim, violin

Xavier Foley, double bass

Giovanni Bottesini: Grand Duo Concertante

Eunice Kim, violin

Xavier Foley, double bass

Emilie Mayer: Symphony no. 5 in f minor

Masterworks 2: “Forces of Nature with Clarice Assad”

March 18, 2023 7:30 pm

Capitol Theatre – Wheeling, WV

This kaleidoscopic concert is focused around the ideas of incredible women, a sense of home and the forces of nature, and it will feature three incredible American artists: Clarice Assad, Angélica Negrón and Bridgette Gan. One of the through lines of our season is an examination of what it means to be American and how to tell our unique “American stories.” Through the creativity of these three women, we will tell three different types of beautiful American tales.

Lili Boulanger: D’un matin de printemps

Samuel Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915

Bridgette Gan, soprano

Clarice Assad: É Gol

Clarice Assad, audience hyper

Angélica Negrón: Sonidos del Avistamiento

Igor Stravinsky: Firebird Suite (1919 version)


Masterworks 3: “Rising Above”

May 12, 2023 7:30 pm

Capitol Theatre – Wheeling, WV

Our season finale centers around the Wheeling Symphony’s exploration of the life and works of Dimitri Shostakovich, a project that began in May of 2022 during our “Festival of Ideas.” Wheeling will welcome the young pianist Maxim Lando for this season-ending week. Maxim will perform Franz Liszt’s Totentanz (Dance of Death) which is based on the famous Dies Irae motif, a musical symbol of death. The orchestra will also perform Dan Pertuu’s Phoenix, which represents rebirth and overcoming obstacles —a perfect symbol for the story within the Shostakovich symphony that follows.

Franz LisztTotentanz

Maxim Landopiano

Daniel PerttuPhoenix

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 in e minor, op. 93

Pops Concerts:

Pops 1: “Halloween at Hogwarts”

October 21, 2022 7:30 pm

Capitol Theatre – Wheeling, WV

All aboard the Hogwarts Express! Join the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra for your favorite music from the Harry Potter films, plus more magical music. Wizards, witches and muggles are all invited to come in costume for this concert treat.

Pops 2: “Symphonic Soul: Morgan James & the Memphis Sound”

With GRAMMY-nominated guest artist Ryan Shaw

February 17, 2023 7:30 pm

Capitol Theatre – Wheeling, WV

Fresh off the release of her new album, “Memphis Magnetic,” and Christmas album, “A Very Magnetic Christmas,” soul singer, Broadway veteran and concert favorite Morgan James brings the classic sounds of Memphis to a full symphony orchestra. This program is a love letter to one of the great American birthplaces of soul, featuring brand-new arrangements of Memphis classics by Al Green, Otis Redding, Ann Peebles, Sam and Dave, and, of course, Elvis.

Pops 3: “Jurassic Park in Concert”

April 28, 2023 7:30 pm

Capitol Theatre – Wheeling, WV

“Welcome … to Jurassic Park.”  The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra presents Jurassic Park in Concert, film with live orchestra, led by conductor John Devlin. The action-packed adventure pits man against prehistoric predators in the ultimate battle for survival. Featuring visually stunning imagery and groundbreaking special effects, this epic film is sheer movie magic 65 million years in the making. 

Now audiences can experience Jurassic Park as never before: projected in HD with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra performing John Williams’ iconic score live to picture.

2022-2023 Season: Soundbites

Soundbites 1: “American Voices”

October 29, 2022 6:30 pm

Scottish Rite Cathedral – Wheeling, WV

October 30, 2022 3:00 pm

United Methodist Church – Bethel Park, PA

Join us for a celebration of American Voices as the WSO partners with Pittsburgh-based chorus Voces Solis on Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Mass for the Endangered and John Corigliano’s Fern Hill. Not only will Wheeling’s community get to enjoy this concert, but for the first time ever, the WSO brings its SoundBites concert to the Pittsburgh area. Two great chances to see this incredible concert.


Soundbites 2: “A Night at the Italian Opera”

February 10 and 11, 2023 6:30 pm

Scottish Rite Cathedral – Wheeling, WV

Join us for a celebration of Italian Opera coupled with a delicious meal inspired by the influence of Italian heritage in the Ohio Valley.  Incredible voices will join with the orchestra to send soaring melodies through the historic Scottish Rite Cathedral.


2022-2023 Season: Community Concerts

Celebrate America 4th of July Tour

  • July 1, 2022 8:00 pm
    Weirton Events Center – Weirton, WV
  • July 2, 2022 8:00 pm
    Veterans Memorial Amphitheater – Clarksburg, WV
  • July 3, 2022 3:00 pm
    Canaan Valley Resort – Canaan Valley, WV
  • July 4, 2022 8:00 pm
    Heritage Port – Wheeling, WV

The WSO’s annual salute to America will celebrate some of the Ohio Valley’s own great musical talents — Eli Lambie and the Mojo Kings and Isaiah Keez. From your favorite Patriotic music to today’s hottest songs and originals from our guest artists, this will be a July 4th tour to be remembered!

Music Under the Stars

September 4, 2022 7:30 pm

Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater, Oglebay Park – Wheeling, WV

Jeans n’ Classics returns for another memorable Music Under the Stars as we celebrate the greatest album from the Beatles – Abbey Road. Abbey Road was the Beatles’ 11th studio album and the last in which all four Beatles participated. It was an immediate commercial success and reached number one in the UK and US, but received mixed reviews. Today however, the album is viewed as the Beatles’ best and it is ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time.

Symphony On Ice

December 1, 2022 7:00 pm

WesBanco Arena – Wheeling, WV

The Ohio Valley’s favorite holiday show returns this December! Join the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra along with champion professional skaters, the Pittsburgh and Wheeling Figure Skating Clubs, and local middle and high school choirs, as we welcome in the sounds of the season! It’s a holiday tradition the entire family will enjoy!


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Twitter: @WSOrchestra


Your Community in Concert

The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (WSO) celebrates more than 90 years of providing outstanding orchestral music to the residents of Wheeling, WV and the Greater Ohio Valley. From subscription concerts and holiday events to chamber music performances and educational programs, the WSO provides world-class musical experiences under the baton of Music Director John Devlin. Wheeling continues to be the smallest city in the United States to support a symphony of this size and