Youth symphony to perform at Blennerhassett School

PARKERSBURG – Local music students will have the chance to see some of their peers performing Friday at the Blennerhassett School Auditorium when the River Cities Symphony Orchestra hosts the West Virginia Youth Symphony.

Robert Turizziani, director of the River Cities Symphony Orchestra, is also director of the youth symphony program.

Friday’s program is 2 p.m. There is no admission and any music teacher and their students may attend the concert by following their usual procedures for attending activities at the school.

Any private music teachers and their students or home-school students and their parents or guardian can also attend, but must sign in at the Blennerhassett Elementary School office.

The West Virginia Youth Symphony was started in 1949 in Charleston with the continuing goal to provide opportunities for young people to perform in an orchestra setting.

Each year, approximately 100 young musicians participate, making it both the largest and the oldest youth orchestra in the state, officials said. Students come from as far away as Ohio to rehearse weekly in Charleston.

This year the orchestra has 111 students from Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Logan, Mason, Nicholas and Putnam counties, and one from Ironton. Students are from 35 public and private schools, plus college and home-schooled. They range in age from 7 to 20 years. One of the requirements for being a musician with the WVYS is that all students take music classes in their schools when available.

Over the past 13 years, Turizziani has organized three European performance tours for the youth symphony, in 2001, 2006 and 2012. During those tours, students have visited countries and cities including Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Italy, Austria, Florence, Venice, Hungary and Slovakia.

The WVYS has been designated by the West Virginia legislature as the Official Youth Symphony of West Virginia.

In addition to his work with the West Virginia Youth Orchestra and the River Cities Symphony Orchestra, Turizziani is also the founder and music director of the Seneca Chamber Orchestra and principal clarinet of the West Virginia Symphony.

Friday’s concert is funded in part by Artsbridge Inc. and the Parkersburg Community Foundation. For additional information or if special accommodations are required telephone, call 304-485-7068.