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Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Celebrates the Tango, Mambo, Conga and More

Wintersville Guitarist Featured in Masterworks Season Opener

John Marcel Williams

WHEELING — Wheeling Symphony Orchestra returns to the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling tonight for Let’s Dance, featuring Ohio Valley native and guitarist, John Marcel Williams, conducted by Music Director John Devlin. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Dance the night away with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. The Masterworks season-opening program features works by American composers, all of which incorporate a different style of dance: tango, mambo, conga and more.

Guests will hear a tango inspired by “Superman,” famous music from Bernstein’s “West Side Story” and a surprise ending. Plus, you will love the intoxicating concerto for guitar with soloist, John Marcel Williams, inspired by Spanish dances of all types. You’ll want to get up out of your seat and move along with the musicians and the new music director at this concert that will energize and delight.

“The WSO Masterworks season-opener is a concert not to be missed,” Devlin said. “There will be special surprises, a remarkable guitar soloist, music from West Side Story, and a piece about Superman. If you are a long-time supporter of the WSO, I know you’ll love this energizing music– all inspired by the dance. But, if you haven’t come to the WSO in a while, we hope you’ll give us a chance with this concert.”

Williams is a celebrated classical guitarist from Wintersville who began to study guitar at the age of 10. He opted to graduate early from Steubenville High School following his sophomore year to participate in an accelerated program at Franciscan University of Steubenville. By age 16 he had garnered more than 20 prizes at competitions, such as first prize at the Boston Guitar Festival youth competition, Rosario Guitar Festival, Classical Minds Guitar Festival, and second prize at the international Guitar Foundation of America young artist competition. He was then invited by legendary guitarist Manuel Barrueco to study at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

Williams’ unique musicality combined with virtuosic technique has led him to numerous solo performances. He is frequently invited to perform and teach at venues across the United States as well as internationally. Most recently in 2018, John toured Panama as a guest artist for the Panama Guitar Festival where he not only performed but gave masterclasses and adjudicated for the Panama Guitar Competition. Other recent concerts include solo recitals at Oberlin College and Moravian College. Williams has made numerous media appearances on various radio and TV programs, most notably performing on NPR’s program “From the Top” where he was also awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award.

Devlin added, “Make it an evening with the Wheeling Symphony by joining us for our pre-concert dining and concert talk. Inside the hall you will see a more accessible style of concert. We will explain the different styles of music and give you some hints about what you can listen for. We also have a few ways to surprise you that I think you’ll love. I picked this music to be exciting, approachable and celebratory– it is our 90th birthday after all!”

Prior to the concert, patrons can purchase a pre-show, prix fixe dinner, catered by Chef Charlie Schlegel in the Capitol Theatre Ballroom starting at 5:30 pm. Patrons can also attend a free concert talk at 6:30 p.m. where Maestro Devlin and other guests offer an informative and intriguing look at the story behind the music to be presented by the Wheeling Symphony.

Immediately following the performance, the board of directors cordially invites attendees to stay for a post-show reception with Maestro Devlin and other members of the symphony orchestra.

Let’s Dance! is generously supported by concert sponsors United Bank and Trinity Health Systems.

Tickets can be purchased online at wheelingsymphony.com, by phone at 304-232-6191, via email at boxoffice@wheelingsymphony.com, or in person at the box office, located at 1025 Main St., Suite 811, Wheeling.

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