After a whirlwind week of "music, music, music," the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra will end the month on a high note with its biennial auction, "Buy, Buy, Birdie!"
This week, the orchestra will present its 2012 Young People's Concert Tour at four regional venues, beginning Monday, April 16, at Wheeling Park High School's new J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center and ending Thursday, April 19, in Morgantown. Meanwhile, the symphony's pops series concludes with "Blues in G minor" with Canadian vocalist and entertainer Shakura S'Aida at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Wheeling at 8 p.m. Friday, April 20.
Between these engagements, the WSO musicians will join Wheeling Park High students and alumni for a special concert, "Partners in Sound," celebrating the opening of the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center. The concert will be performed in the new venue at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17.
After all of the music making, the focus will turn to making money for the Wheeling Symphony next week when the nonprofit organization's board of directors holds its auction fundraiser, "Buy, Buy, Birdie!" Friday, April 27.
Pittsburgh Steelers tickets, designer handbags, hand-painted musical instruments and resort vacation stays are just a few of the items that will be up for bid at the symphony's auction. The event will be held at Ohio Valley Medical Center's nurses' residence, 2000 Eoff St., Wheeling, and will begin with a preview of auction items at 5 p.m. Friday, April 27. The auction will start at 6 p.m. A silent auction will be offered throughout the evening.
Also up for bid will be private dinner parties, fine wine, spa packages, original artwork, interior design and landscaping consultations, and a private birding session. Auction items include pottery, gift cards, jewelry, theater tickets and homemade baked goods.
Representatives of Behm's Auction and Real Estate Service will conduct the auction. Betsy Delk, WSO board president, and Lea Ridenhour, president-elect, are chairing the auction.
A popular part of the auction is "The Art of the Strings," a Wheeling Symphony auxiliary project that features musical instruments transformed into works of art by area artists.
Laura Andreini, Susy Vellenoweth and Charlotte Khourey are spearheading the artistic endeavor this year. Steve Ceo and C.A. House Music donated the musical instruments.
Being auctioned are six hand-painted instruments: "Fleur di lis, Vin and Musique" (Flowers, Wine and Music), mini violin, done by Andreini; "Wheeling Feeling," cello, and "Strata Various," mini violin, both by Sherry Stauver; "What Is Music," guitar, by Sharon Lee Hanse; "I Love My Job," violin, by Annie Shepard and "WV Bluesman," cello, by Robert Villamagna.
The auxiliary's reception committee will provide hors d'oeuvres for the evening. Sue Thompson, Laurie McDermott and Kathie McDonald are the committee chairs. A cash bar will be available.
Tickets to the auction can be purchased in advance or at the door for a higher price. To buy tickets, call the symphony office, 304-232-6191.
The "Blues in G minor" concert will feature S'Aida, a dynamic vocalist who was a hit at the Heritage Music Blues Fest in Wheeling in 2010. Symphony officials said that her high-energy performance and soaring vocals will appeal to blues enthusiasts and symphony-goers alike in a blues-oriented program with orchestrations.
S'Aida is an international artist, whose involvement in the Canadian music scene has been ongoing for the past 30 years, enriching the jazz, blues and classic R&B communities with her soulful voice, enthusiastic personality and commitment to music as an art form.
She began performing at a young age. Her first steps into music began with a Toronto community band called Mystique, then she became the lead singer in a 13-piece world music band, Kaleefah, that would later be nominated for a Juno Award.
She has performed in musical productions such as "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Momma, I Want to Sing," and appeared as an actress in theatrical productions. She has had supporting roles in films and has been featured in a television series.
As a solo artist, S'Aida's career has spanned genres and countries and taken her to some of the most noted stages in the jazz world. She has performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York and has been nominated for numerous Maple Blues awards.
Lance Anderson will be guest conductor for this concert. He also is a successful producer, with recording credits and a number of recent recordings under his own label, Make It Real Records. In 2005, Anderson toured Canada as musical director for international recording artist Roger Whittaker.
The Triadelphia Middle School jazz band will perform in the lobby prior to the concert at 7 p.m.
This performance is a Wheeling Symphony College Concert Series presented by Wheeling Jesuit University. Students from 11 area colleges have an opportunity to attend at no cost. Faculty and staff at these institutions can receive half-price tickets to the performance.
For ticket information, call 304-232-6191 or 800-395-9241. Tickets also are available at the WSO box office in the Mull Center, 1025 Main St., suite 811, Wheeling.
Meanwhile, three meddlesome spirits, Music, Noise and Silence, will create havoc for Maestro Andre Raphel and the Wheeling Symphony during the Young People's Concert Tour to be performed for thousands of children throughout the region.
The tour, designed for students in grades 3-5, will offer four performances: Monday, April 16, at J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center, Wheeling; Tuesday, April 17, at Washington County Schools, Washington, Pa.; Wednesday, April 18, at John Marshall Center for the Performing Arts, Glen Dale, and Thursday, April 19, at the Metropolitan Theatre, Morgantown.
Members of Magic Circle Mime Company, regarded as one of today's premier family attractions, are guest artists for this year's tour.
Magic Circle Mime Company will create mischief at the concert when the characters of Silence and Noise attempt to seize control of the orchestra. Only with the help of the audience and the character of Music will the conductor be able to break the fierce grip of Noise and bring harmony back to the orchestra.
The troupe has performed on numerous occasions with the Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Montreal, St. Louis, Seattle and Toronto symphony orchestras; the Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia orchestras and on more than half a dozen occasions at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with the National Symphony Orchestra. The performances, uniting the concert orchestra with visual theater, are praised for imaginative and innovative content.
Magic Circle Mime Company is the creative partnership of Maggie Petersen and Douglas MacIntyre. Both artists have backgrounds in theater and instrumental music, and have utilized that training to create their highly regarded programs.
Featured works for this year's performances are "Poet and Peasant Overture" by Suppe, Mendelssohn's "Dance of the Clowns," the Bach/Cailliet "Little Fugue in G," Strauss' "Pizzicato Polka" and "Blue Danube Waltz," Ives' "Country Band March" and Grofe's "Cloudburst" from "The Grand Canyon Suite."
Sponsors for this year's tour include: anonymous; American Electric Power; Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust; Hess Family Foundation; Levenson Family Charitable Trust; Elizabeth Stifel Miner; Ohio River Border Initiative, a joint project of the Ohio Arts Council and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts; Helen J. Prince Foundation; Sands Charitable Trust and W.E. Stone Foundation.
Ohio Valley participating schools for the tour include: Barnesville Exempted Village School Elementary, Barnesville Middle, Bethlehem Elementary, Bridgeport, Center McMechen Elementary, Elm Grove Elementary, Glen Dale Elementary, Hannibal Elementary, Hilltop Elementary, Linsly, Lyceum Preparatory Academy, Madison Elementary, Middle Creek Elementary, Ohio Valley Christian Home Educators, Our Lady of Peace, Powhatan Elementary, Ritchie Elementary, Russell Nesbitt Services, Skyvue Elementary, St. John Central, St. Michael's Parish, St. Mary Central (Martins Ferry), St. Vincent de Paul, Steenrod Elementary, Titus-Glover Academy, Union Local Elementary, Warwood, Weirton Heights Elementary, West Liberty Elementary, Wetzel County, Wheeling Country Day, Woodsdale Elementary and Wright Academy.