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COVID Could Silence 2020 ‘Festival of Sound’

Photo Provided – A file photo shows the scene at the 2019 Festival of Sound. This year’s event is slated to happen online, but could be silenced due to COVID restrictions.

WHEELING – The 2020 “Festival of Sound” at Wheeling Park High School is still slated to happen online later this month, but high COVID numbers could silence the event if students aren’t soon permitted to gather to play.

The color “red” is typically associated with the joy of Christmas, but on Monday, Ohio County was designated “red” by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources COVID-19 alert map. That distinction means students can’t gather for extra-curricular activities.

WPHS has been planning to present its annual Festival of Sound at a later date via Wheeling Park High School and Ohio County Schools social media platforms. Patriot music students were scheduled to take part in recording sessions for the event beginning Friday.

“Wheeling Park High School Music Department staff members are hopeful that Ohio County will be moved from the ‘red’ designation next week so that plans for Festival of Sound can move forward,” said Gabe Wells, coordinator of communication for Ohio County Schools. “Wheeling Park’s music students have worked hard in preparation for Festival of Sound, and Wheeling Park and Ohio County Schools administrators remain hopeful that the event can be held”

Wells said the school district officials also thank WPHS orchestra director Ben Podolski, band director David Alfred, choir directors Joyce Jingle and Christie Greenwood, percussion and steel director Seth Bell and speech coach Bill Cornforth for all of their work in preparation for Festival of Sound.

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