Internationally acclaimed composer Avner Dorman and Wheeling Symphony Music Director Andre Raphel presented an engaging and informative program Thursday, March 13, for a special edition of Lunch with Books at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling.
For those who had prior commitments (such as I did) and were unable to attend the session, take heart: Lunch with Books coordinator Sean Duffy said a recording of the program will be available at the library for viewing in DVD format in the near future.
The Wheeling Symphony was slated to perform the world premiere of Dorman's newly-expanded piece, "Prayer for the Innocents," during the orchestra's Masterworks concert at the Capitol Theatre Friday evening, March 14.
Friday was a truly musical day in Wheeling.
In addition to the Wheeling Symphony's Masterworks concert, an outstanding program was presented by talented tenor Edward Washington for the Friday Noon Lenten Concert Series at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Wheeling.
A popular and well-received guest artist, Washington has performed at St. Matthew's Independence Day Extravaganza the past two summers. He moved to Baltimore this past autumn to complete graduate work in vocal performance at Morgan State University. Later this spring, he will be featured in Douglas Stuart Moore's opera, "The Devil and Daniel Webster."
Previously, Washington lived in Orlando, Fla., where he worked on the executive staff of the Negro Spiritual Foundation. Among its endeavors, the foundation commissions a 21st-century spiritual every year, Washington explained.
He sang one of the commissioned spirituals, "Stand the Storm," in the Friday concert at St. Matthew's.
The work of the late Wheeling and Moundsville artist Virginia Barger Evans - which was featured in an exhibition at Oglebay Institute's Mansion Museum in Wheeling last year - will be seen by Charleston audiences beginning this week.
On Tuesday, March 18, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History will unveil a new exhibit, "The Life and Work of Virginia Evans."
The exhibit will be on display in the Commissioner's Gallery of the West Virginia State Museum in Charleston.
The subject of a 2013 comprehensive art book by West Virginia University art historian and curator John Cuthbert, Evans was a talented painter, sculptor, designer and teacher.
She is considered one of the foremost West Virginia artists of the 20th century, state officials noted.
Jessica Kimble of Tyler Consolidated High School and Austin Gage of Wheeling Park High School were among 26 students scheduled to vie in the Poetry Out Loud state competition in Charleston Friday and Saturday, March 14-15. The winner will be eligible to represent the state at the national competition in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 29-30.
Actor and poet Chris Sarandon, a West Virginia native, was slated to return for his seventh year as master of ceremonies for the final competition Saturday. West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman of Wheeling, West Virginia author Colleen Anderson and American cellist and composer Ben Sollee were invited to perform during the two-day event.
Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@ theintelligencer.net