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Frazier, American Pops Orchestra to perform at WVU-P

Maestro Luke Frazier

PARKERSBURG — The American Pops Orchestra under the direction of Parkersburg native Maestro Luke Frazier next week will perform in local schools and at a free public concert at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

The orchestra will present “An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” in the Artsbridge Artists-on-Tour in elementary schools.

Frazier, founder and conductor of the orchestra, is a Parkersburg native who graduated from Parkersburg South High School and West Virginia University. Among venues, Frazier has conducted at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the White House and the Kennedy Center.

He is a proponent of the preservation and celebration of the American Songbook, as evidenced by his orchestral programming, his iTunes playlist and his involvement on the Board of the Great American Songbook Foundation.

“It’s an honor and privilege to return for our second American Pops Orchestra tour. To be able to provide a live musical and theatrical experience for kids from the same schools I grew up in is something I truly treasure. I want to give to the students like so many great public school teachers gave to me as a kid,” said Frazier.

Students will join Hilary Morrow, an orchestra favorite, in a madcap retelling of “An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” a classic children’s story. Study guides are provided for teachers through Artsbridge prior to the production.

Frazier, Morrow, Evan LaChance, Kevin Rose and the orchestra also will perform a free public concert of songbook standards and Broadway hits, “Live, Laugh, Love,” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22 at WVU-Parkersburg. RSVP Artsbridge at 304-428-3988 for the tickets.

The schedule of performances:

* Monday: Warren Elementary, 9:45 a.m.; Belpre Elementary (performance at Warren), 11:15 a.m.

* Tuesday: Wood County Schools, Blennerhassett Auditorium, 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

* Wednesday: Pleasants County Schools, Belmont, 9 a.m.; Jackson County Schools, Ravenswood, 1:15 p.m.

* Nov. 21: Ritchie County Schools, Ellenboro, 9 a.m.

* Nov. 22: WVU-Parkersburg, 7:30 p.m.

Funding for Artsbridge arts education programs is provided by the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ross Foundation, the Fenton Foundation, the Bernard McDonough Foundation, Highmark, Peoples Bank and by contributors to the Artsbridge Fund. Funding for this tour is provided by American Pops Orchestra.

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