The moment when the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra starts playing John Phillip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” and the fireworks begin is one of the most moving events that area residents can experience. The Cultural Foundation of Harrison County is sponsoring their third annual July 4th holiday observance, kicking the celebration off early on Monday, July 3rd.
The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra with André Raphel, Music Director, takes the stage at the Clarksburg Amphitheater as part of their annual Celebrate America tour. The evening’s program will include patriotic favorites such as “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful,” as well as popular show tunes.
The music begins at 7:30 pm and culminates at dark with a crescendo of patriotic tunes, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” As the music concludes, the crowd will be treated to a fireworks display sponsored by Antero Resources. Admission is free and concessions will be available.
The WSO will be joined by guest artist Hugh Panaro. He is perhaps best known for having played the coveted role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times, including the 25th Anniversary production. In fact, Hugh is one of the few actors to be cast by Harold Prince as both The Phantom and Raoul in the show’s Broadway production.
An active concert artist, Panaro has performed with numerous symphony orchestras including Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle Utah Symphonies, and the London Sinfonietta, among many others.
In its 87th season, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra continues to operate on the premise of its founders, who were prompted by a love of music, and the belief that a larger musical organization could undertake more comprehensive programs for the entertainment of more people.
The symphony has gained national prominence under eight music directors. Current music director and conductor, André Raphel has established a reputation as an exciting and versatile conductor through innovative programming, a commitment to American music, and fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire.
The evening will also include an announcement of the exciting lineup for the season two of the Grand Performances arts series sponsored by The Cultural Foundation. Information and tickets are available at www.theculturalfoundation.org or by calling 304-669-7045.
The event is sponsored by The Highland Fund for the Arts, a bequest of the late Barbara B. Highland, whose love of the arts and our community is providing funding for this performance. The Cultural Foundation of Harrison County administers the fund and has teamed with the City of Clarksburg, City Parks of Clarksburg, the D’Annunzio Foundation, and Antero Resources to present this event.
Transportation to the Amphitheater will be available by Centra bus from downtown Clarksburg at the Harrison County Senior Citizens Center beginning at 6:30 PM. Patrons will also be shuttled to the entrance of the Amphitheater from the Splash Zone Pool parking lot. Return transportation will begin at 9:15 PM.
In the event inclement weather, the concert will be held in the auditorium at Robert C. Byrd High School, which is also on WV Rt. 98.