CHARLESTON, W.VA. (10/01/19) – The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO) kicks off a year-long celebration of its 80th anniversary season on Oct. 19 with a spectacular season opening concert featuring music from its first performance in 1939.

Music Director Lawrence Loh will lead the WVSO in performing J.F. Hérold’s Overture to Zampa, first performed by the WVSO on Nov. 14, 1939, at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium. Special guest pianist Orion Weiss will then join the orchestra at the Clay Center in performing Rachmaninov’s Concerto for Piano no. 3 in d minor. The concert finale will be Prokofiev’s Symphony no. 5 in B-flat Major.

“We are so excited about our 80th anniversary season,” said WVSO President Joe Tackett. “We are not only featuring some of the great music from our first season, but we are also launching our 80-for-80 club and have published a book that explores the people and the music that helped to sow a rich tradition of classical music in the heart of Appalachia.”

 As part of the season opener, patrons are invited to a special pre-concert dinner at the Clay Center celebrating the WVSO’s 80-year history and the closing of its successful $3 million endowment campaign. The Playing It Forward campaign raised more than $3 million to help to ensure that the WVSO continues to entertain, engage and educate thousands of West Virginians a year for decades to come.

The WVSO will also celebrate the addition of three newly endowed chairs that brings the total number of endowed chairs secured during the Play It Forward campaign to 11. They are the Principal Bassoon Chair in memory of Henry B. & Helen D. Wehrle, the Principal Trombone Chair in memory of Irma A. Harrison and the entire Percussion Section endowed by the American Electric Power Foundation.

A cash bar opens at 4:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 5 p.m, a special presentation at 6:15 p.m., and the concert at 7:30 p.m. The dinner and concert package costs $80 per person or $150 a couple. Tickets can be purchased by calling Administrative Assistant Alison Flowers at 304.957.9876, by email at aflowers@wvsymphony.org or by visiting https://tinyurl.com/y4jz3c58.

 The Elliot Foundation Symphonic Series concert is made possible by the generous support of the Elliot Foundation and Encova Insurance. Concert-only tickets start at $12 and are available at wvsymphony.org or by calling 304.561.3570.

For more information about the 80-for-80 club, which honors WVSO supporters who make a special one-time gift of $1,000, contact Development Director Jessica Westfall at 304.957.9879 or jwestfall@wvsymphony.org.

The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra is West Virginia’s premier performing arts organization, presenting classical, pops, family and chamber-music concerts annually throughout the Mountain State. Currently in its 80th season, the WVSO is a proud member of the community and enriches the region by providing affordable, high-quality concerts, collaborations with West Virginia arts organizations and a nationally award-winning education program.