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Symphony To Perfect Classical Greats Thursday

WHEELING — Wheeling Symphony Orchestra announces the next concert in its 90th season, Hometown’s Finest: Mezare & Driscoll, featuring WSO principal musicians, Roi Mezare, clarinet, and Robert Driscoll, oboe, conducted by Music Director John Devlin. The performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling.

The stars are out at the WSO’s “Hometown’s Finest” concert, featuring two of the orchestra’s principal players as soloists. First, we have Mendelssohn’s entrancing Hebrides Overture, a soundscape of the haunting caves and rocky shoreline of Scotland. Then, you will fall in love with France as Jean Francaix paints a picture of blooming flowers through neo-classical stylings in his L’Horloge de Flore, with soloist Robert Driscoll. Next, we journey back to the classical era to experience one of Mozart’s finest works, his Clarinet Concerto, with Roi Mezare as soloist. The concert ends with Prokofiev’s blazing Classical Symphony, the modernist composer’s take on a symphony of old.

“We are so proud of our November program because it features two world-class soloists, drawn from within our own orchestra!” says John Devlin, music director and conductor for the WSO. “Roi Mezzare, our Principal Clarinet, will play the timeless Clarinet Concerto by Mozart. As a clarinetist myself I’m a bit biased, but I think that this piece may be Mozart’s greatest. Then, our Principal Oboe, Robert Driscoll, will play a fascinating piece called The Flower Clock, by the French composer, Jean Francaix. The piece is delightful and Robert will play it beautifully.”

Devlin adds, “The orchestra will also present two pieces on its own. First, we will perform the Hebrides overture by Mendelssohn. This is one of my favorite works and it depicts a stormy evening on the ocean around the caves of Scotland. It is gorgeous music, but with incredible emotional depth that combines both beauty and tumult. The program will end with the Classical Symphony by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. This piece is his first symphony, and it uses modern sounds and harmonies– but it references the classical model of the symphony in many ways. The piece is filled with energy and humor– and will be a wonderful end to the evening.”

Prior to the concert, patrons can purchase a pre-show, prix fixe dinner, catered by Chef Rocco Basil in the Capitol Theatre Ballroom starting at 5:30 p.m. 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.

The WSO will continue its Pay-What-You-Will program for this concert, honoring Ohio Valley’s first responders, active military personnel, and military veterans. The program encourages people who belong to these services the ability to attend our concert and pay whatever amount they deem appropriate. Individuals can show up at the box office the night of the performance and receive up to two tickets per person with proper id.

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.

Tickets to Hometown’s Finest: Mezare and Driscoll 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, which is located at 1025 Main St., Suite 811, Wheeling.

For pre-concert dinner ticket reservations, call 304-232-6191 or email boxoffice@wheelingsymphony.com.

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