Sleighful of Holiday Musical Events Planned
WHEELING — Area residents have plenty of opportunities to get in the mood for the holiday season with a variety of musical events planned throughout the region.
Offering a festive celebration of choral music, the West Liberty University choirs will present a holiday concert at Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church, 905 National Road, Wheeling, with performances at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 3. Tickets may be purchased at the door. WLU student tickets are free.
Under the direction of Ryan Keeling, the concert will feature the WLU College Community Chorus performing John Rutter’s “Gloria” with brass, percussion and organ and Julian Wachner’s “The Snow Lay on the Ground,” a suite of carols for brass, harp, organ and percussion. The WLU Singers will perform Jonathan Dove’s “Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars” with organ.
“With opportunities for the audience to sing along, this is sure to be a joyful way to usher in the holiday season and we invite everyone to join us,” Keeling said. There are 35 voices in the WLU Singers and 70 members in the College Community Choir.
The traditional Advent Procession of Carols will be presented at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1410 Chapline St., Wheeling, at 4 p.m. Dec. 3. A festive wassail bowl reception will be offered in the parish hall after the free event.
St. Matthew’s annual program, based on the Service of Lessons and Carols offered at Kings College in Cambridge, England, features carols of the season interspersed with biblical lessons foretelling the coming of the Christ Child.
One of the most highly anticipated musical events of the season is Wheeling Park High School’s Festival of Sound, featuring several singing ensembles, orchestra and band. This year’s Festival of Sound will be presented at the high school’s J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Dec. 8-9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10. Tickets may be purchased at the high school.
Two holiday concerts are on tap from groups affiliated with Wheeling Jesuit University. A symphonic band concert will be performed in the recital hall of the Center for Educational Technologies on the WJU campus at 5:15 p.m. Dec. 3.
The university’s Chamber Singers will present its Christmas concert at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1225 National Road, Wheeling, at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The event is free and open to the public.
Bethany College’s band and choir will offer a free Christmas concert at Bethany Memorial Church at 7 p.m. Dec. 6. Refreshments will be served after the performance.
Adding country western flair to the season, Skyflight Productions will present The Farmer and Adele Christmas Revue in the Albert S. George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park at 8 p.m. Dec. 8. Singer Grace Adele and her musical partner, Keenan Wade, perform “country western cowboy and cowgirl swing and high lonesome sounds,” concert organizers said.
For the past four years, The Farmer and Adele have been perfecting a country western comedy Christmas show. The event promises to be full of Christmas classics and original tunes with a western flair, offering fun for the whole family. Doors will be opened at 7:30 p.m. Ticket information can be found by calling 423-276-2653.
In a similar vein, the Honky Tonk Sweethearts will perform a Christmas Wishes show at the Victoria Theater, 1228 Market St., Wheeling, at 3 p.m. Dec. 10. Tickets may be purchased by calling 740-391-2304 or at honkytonksweethearts.online.
The Wheeling Jamboree will present a Christmas show at the Capitol Theatre, 1015 Main St., Wheeling, at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre box office.
Acclaimed country vocalist Mandy Barnet will make her first appearance on the Jamboree. Also performing will be Nashville entertainer Tim known as the longtime piano player from the Grand Ole Opry; Jamboree stars Larry Efaw and his Bluegrass Mountains, Steve Smith, Anita Stapleton and Kelsie May, who was seen recently on NBC’s “The Voice.”
Family Service-Upper Ohio Valley’s board of directors will present a musical show, “A Family Christmas,” also at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling, at 7 p.m. Dec. 15. The holiday performance will feature the Ron Retzer Trio and 1170 band.
Tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre box office or online at www.etix.com. All proceeds will benefit senior programs provided by Family Service-Upper Ohio Valley.
Musicians from the Bridge & Tunnel Collective will perform a holiday concert at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre, 2118 Market St., Wheeling, at 8 p.m. Dec. 16. A variety of artists will perform their original takes on traditional holiday favorites in wide range of musical styles. Tickets may be purchased at www.oionline.com or by calling 304-242-7700.
Because of popular demand, a second performance has been added to the initial “I Will Remember, B.E. Taylor Christmas Concert” schedule. Two shows will be presented at the Capitol Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and Dec. 22.
The concerts honor the late B.E. Taylor and celebrate a holiday tradition that he started. Taylor died from a brain tumor in August 2016.
“Wooden Heart Follies: An Original Nutcracker Village Musical” will be performed at the Masonic Temple, 227 N. Fourth St., Steubenville, at 2 p.m. on Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center in Steubenville. This production is based on characters in the Steubenville Nutcracker exhibit set to the melodies of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.”
Holidays at the Hall, a free event planned at West Virginia Independence Hall, 1528 Market St., Wheeling, from 1-3:30 p.m. Dec. 16, will include a musical performance by Wheeling Middle School students and a bell-ringing performance by John Tyska.
The Broadway at the Capitol series will feature two musical productions at the Capitol Theatre for the holiday season. A stage version of “Sound of Music” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12, while “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec.19.
Holiday music will combine with other performing arts for several productions this year.
One of the most anticipated events is the Wheeling Symphony’s spectacular celebration, Symphony on Ice, that skates into WesBanco Arena in Wheeling at 7 p.m. Dec. 5. The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Andre Raphel, will be joined by professional ice skaters, members of the Wheeling and Pittsburgh figure skating clubs and choirs from area middle and high schools for this holiday tradition.
Music and dance will come together in at least three area productions. Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” will return to the Capitol Theatre for one performance at 7 p.m. Dec. 6.
Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance will stage several performances of the holiday ballet, “The Nutcracker,” at two venues.
Performances of “The Nutcracker” will take place at the Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. Each show includes tea and photos with the cast. An opportunity to tour the Holidays at the Mansion exhibit is included with the admission price.
“The Nutcracker” also will be staged at Towngate Theatre at 7 p.m. Dec. 22 and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 23. Reservations for either venue may be made at www.oionline.com or by calling 304-242-7272.
Meanwhile, ArtsLink’s concert series will feature a performance of Mid Ohio Valley Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” at the Lincoln Theater in New Martinsville at 7 p.m. Dec. 4.
Folks who want to join in the holiday musical fun can participate in the free Community Carol Sing outside the Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 15. In addition to singing holiday tunes, participants can warm up with hot chocolate and gather around a fire burning inside an ice chimney on the mansion’s front lawn.
Members of the South Wheeling Preservation Alliance will go Christmas caroling in the neighborhood from 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. Ginger Kabala, president of the group, says “bring your voice and a friend.”