As area residents know well, the holiday season has begun officially. With Thanksgiving as the kick-off to the season of celebration, holiday-related activities are moving into high gear, as evidenced by the entries on the December calendar, found on Page D8 of today's Life section.
With the arrival of the season comes the news that a popular holiday musical tradition is moving to the reopened Capitol Theatre in downtown Wheeling. The West Liberty University Division of Music, through its "Arts and Ideas" program, is presenting Handel's "Messiah" at the Capitol at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. The performance is free and open to the public.
Performers for the oratorio include the university chorus, the university concert choir, soloists and chamber orchestra, conducted by Alfred R. de Jaager. The soloists are Angela Day, soprano; Linda Cowan, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Palimetakis, tenor, and Nicolas Taylor, bass.
The orchestra is made up of local players and some members of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. Benjamin Podolski is serving as concertmaster.
University officials said the performance will include the entire Christmas portion of "Messiah," as well as the famous "Hallelujah Chorus."
When Wheeling resident Robert Troeger presents an organ recital for the final program in the 2009 Narthex Series at First Presbyterian Church in Wheeling at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, it will cap off an especially busy week for Troeger.
Troeger is the music director and organist of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Wheeling and serves as university music director and instructor in fine arts at Wheeling Jesuit University.
In addition to serving as organist and choirmaster for regular worship services at St. Matthew's today and next Sunday, Troeger is leading St. Matthew's parish choir in presenting the annual Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols at the church at 4 p.m. today, Nov. 29. This year's event features a performance of Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols," accompanied by harp and organ.
Meanwhile, in his role at the university, Troeger is directing the Wheeling Jesuit University Singers in a performance for the Charter Guild's holiday dinner program at Erickson Alumni Center on the WJU campus at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3. He also is directing the Wheeling Jesuit University Singers' winter concert at St. Michael Catholic Church in Wheeling at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4.
For a holiday fete with an international flavor, Wheeling Jesuit University's French Club is inviting the public to attend a Christmas in France celebration in the university's Benedum Room of Swint Hall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. There is a charge for the special luncheon.
The event includes music and a French-themed meal planned to honor the beginning of the Christmas season in France. The menu for the luncheon sounds divine: coq au vin, coquille St. Jacques (scallops), Pommes Lyonnais (potatoes sauteed with onions), braised red cabbage, haricots verts (green beans), ratatouille, bouillabaisse (soup), cucumber salad, crepes, cream puffs and cookies.
Dr. Dominick DeFilippis, a WJU professor, and student members of the French Club are planning the celebration.
Did Ohio Valley native and country music superstar Brad Paisley slip home to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family? Alert readers reported seeing a long, white stretch limousine driving onto the street where the Paisley family residence is located in Glen Dale on Thanksgiving evening. Not wanting to imitate the paparazzi, though, the observant local residents didn't follow the limo to see if the singer emerged.
Newsweek magazine, in its "Conventional Wisdom" index published in the Nov. 30 issue, gave a "thumbs' up" to U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., on becoming the longest-serving lawmaker in U.S. history. The Newsweek pundits concluded the salute to Byrd's tenure in the Senate by stating wryly, "He even remembers when they actually got things done."
Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: Comins@news-register.net