PARKERSBURG - The American Wind Symphony will be making three stops along the Ohio River in the Mid-Ohio Valley during the first two weeks of July - Ravenswood, Parkersburg and New Martinsville.
The city of Parkersburg will be holding a "Music on the River" program to celebrate the inauguration of Point Park from July 6-8 with three free concerts and a fireworks display at Point Park in downtown Parkersburg.
Performances will be 8 p.m. each day and will feature River City Brass Band on July 6, Mountain State Brass Band on July 7 and American Wind Symphony Orchestra Concert and fireworks on July 8.
The first two concerts will be held in the newly created amphitheater at Point Park overlooking the Ohio River. The Point Counterpoint II, the Wind Symphony's famous floating concert hall, will be the stage for the final concert. Visitors can bring a picnic all three nights and enjoy all three shows at no charge.
For 55 years, the American Wind Symphony Orchestra has been making musical headlines along the waterways of the United States, the Caribbean and Northern Europe. The group continues to perform under the baton of Maestro Robert Austin Boudreau.
Founded in 1957 by Boudreau, the American Wind Symphony has become an institution known for bringing its music to the masses via its floating arts center and stage. Boudreau has commissioned over 450 new musical compositions, which have been premiered during each season's concert tour.
For more information about The American Wind Symphony Orchestra, go online two www.americanwindsymphonyorchestra.org.
Felice Jorgeson, one of the event coordinators, said the Windy Symphony will be offering an instrumental symposium for local high school musicians from 2-4 p.m. July 9 on the Point Counterpoint II. Interested students should contact their band directors, she said.
During the Parkersburg Farmers' Market on July 10, Jorgeson said small ensembles from the symphony will perform between noon and 1 p.m. at the market in Bicentennial Park in downtown Parkersburg.
In another event, the Julia-Ann Square Historic District will present "A Mid-Summer Eve's Victorian Stroll - A Progressive Concert" at 6:30 p.m. July 10 in the downtown Parkersburg historic district.
Musicians from the American Wind Symphony Orchestra will perform mini-concerts at five historic sites beginning at the First United Methodist Church on Juliana Street. Tour guides in period attire will take guests to the different homes where musicians will play selections. Three of the mini-concerts will be inside and two will be on the lawns. Light dessert will be served at one of the venues.
The cost is $15 and proceeds will be used for improvements to Julia-Ann Square. For information and reservations call 304-422-9861 or go to juliannsquare.org.
Prior to arriving in Parkersburg on July 8, the Wind Symphony will spend three days at Riverfront Park in Ravenswood, from July 5-7. The main concert will be 8 p.m. July 6 at the park on the Ohio River.
After leaving Parkersburg, the Point Counterpoint II will stop in New Martinsville on July 11-12, where the main concert will be 8 p.m. July 11 at the Historic Ferry Landing in New Martinsville.
As it will in Parkersburg, the Wind Symphony will be presenting student symposiums and giving small ensemble concerts during its stays in Ravenswood and New Martinsville.
As part of Parkersburg's "Music on the River" program leading up to the Wind Symphony concert, the Mountain State Brass Band and the River City Brass Band will be performing at Point Park.
The Mountain State Brass Band was formed in Charleston in the summer of 1998 as a way to provide area musicians the opportunity to experience the excitement of performing traditional British brass band literature.
Present band members come from Scott Depot, Charleston, Nitro, Glenville, St. Albans, Pinch, Alum Creek, Elkview, Madison, Winfield, Hurricane, Clarksburg, Dunbar and South Charleston. Two local residents who are members are Eric Staats, first trombone, from Mineral Wells and Kent Jorgeson, bass trombone, from Parkersburg. In total there are over 30 members of the band.
Founded in Pittsburgh in 1981, River City Brass performs throughout western Pennsylvania and across the U.S., taking the 28-piece ensemble to community concert series, major symphony pops series and arts festivals. Building upon the long-standing tradition of brass bands popularized in Great Britain and the U.S, RCB features 25 brass players and three percussionists. The band presents a sweeping repertoire, including American tunes, Big Band swing and jazz, music from Broadway and Hollywood, classical and contemporary masterworks, and traditional marches.