PARKERSBURG - Music enthusiasts looking for something different will have a pair of very different choices this week as the U.S. Army Field Band's Concert Band and Soldiers' Choir comes to Parkersburg, followed by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg.
The 65-member U.S. Army Field Band's Concert Band and 29-voice Soldiers' Choir will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Parkersburg High School Field House.
Sponsored by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel with the cooperation of PHS, the two-hour performance will feature the band and chorus performing a variety of music, ranging from military marches, to concert pieces, to a salute to military veterans and their branches of service.
Concert attendees are advised to be in their seats in the field house by 6:45 p.m., as all seats are first-come, first-seated.
An added attraction in the concert will be the opportunity for up to eight members of the PHS band and up to eight members of the PHS choir to perform with the army musicians.
On Sept. 23, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg will open its new season with an acclaimed pianist joining the performance.
The program, called "Song of Norway," will be 3 p.m. in the Blennerhassett School Auditorium on Jewell Road near Parkersburg.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased via the WVSOP website at www.wvsop.org, by email at tickets@wvsop, or by calling 304-485-4200. The WVSOP welcomes patrons with disabilities and, with three weeks advance notice, will make every effort to accommodate their requests.
Pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi will join the symphony, performing Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg.
Composed in 1868, the piece was the only one its composer completed. It is one of Grieg's most popular works and among the most popular of all.
Grieg was one of many 19th century European composers who sought to bring a nationalist personality to concert music. Norwegian folk music and the harmonic language of that music also lend color to this concerto and have helped maintain its popularity over the decades.
Born and raised in Foggia, Italy, Pompa-Baldi first came to the U.S. in 1999 to participate in the Cleveland International Piano Competition.
He won the first prize, and embarked on a career that continues to extend across five continents. A top prize winner at the 1998 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition of Paris, France, Antonio Pompa-Baldi also won a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, as well as the Award for the Best Performance of a New Work.
He appears regularly at the world's major concert venues including Cleveland's Severance Hall, Milan's Sala Verdi, New York's Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall (both Isaac Stern Auditorium and Zankel Hall), Boston's Symphony Hall, and Paris' Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau, Salle Pleyel, Theatre des Champs-Elysees and others.
In addition to Grieg's piano concerto, the WVSOP, under the direction of Maestro Grant Cooper, will perform Suite on English Folk Tunes, Op 90 by Benjamin Britten and Symphony No. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich.
BB&T is the corporate sponsor for the concert. Additional funding for the series comes in part from grants from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the National Endowment of the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, from the McDonough Foundation, and from the Artsbridge Arts Fund.
The WVSO's home is the Maier Foundation Performance Hall at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston.