WV musicians urged to get involved with “Orchestra of the Hills” for flood victims

INSTITUTE, W.Va. — Musicians from across the state hope to sustain the next generation of musicians who have lost much in the West Virginia flood with the “Orchestra of the Hills” concert set for July 30 at Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston.

West Virginia State University Director of Instrumental Music Scott Woodard approached the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra after hearing about the devastation of the June 23 flood to school bands. The students are in great need, Woodard said.

“Their instruments have been washed away, band uniforms, choir risers, all of those types of things that are going to need to be replaced because of this natural disaster. We felt like we could come together as a musical community,” Woodard said.

Organizers are now in the recruitment process.

“We’re hoping to get word to all of the symphonic musicians in West Virginia,” Woodard said. “Whether they be professional musicians in the West Virginia Symphony, the Huntington Symphony, the Wheeling Symphony. We’re interested in attracting community musicians and musicians from colleges and universities. We really want to make this a statewide effort to help these young people.”

At least three high school music departments were impacted by the floodwaters including Herbert Hoover High and Richwood High. Replacing band and orchestra instruments can cost thousands of dollars, Woodard said.

The July 30 4:30 p.m. concert will be free of charge with those in attendance asked to donate to the effort. There’s also been a fund created within the WVSU Foundation called “Orchestra of the Hills” that is currently accepting donations for the music programs.

The orchestra will rehearse July 29-30. There will also be a choir and vocalist portion of the concert. A choir-only rehearsal is scheduled for July 28.

Instrumental and vocal musicians should RSVP to James Shamblin before July 20 at (304) 766-3192 or jshamblin3@wvstateu.edu.