Wheeling is a city of only about 30,000 people, but the small number of people living here and across the Ohio Valley doesn’t stop the area from showcasing some top notch culture.

“The music, I think itself, is really an entry point for you,” said Andre Raphel, Music Director for Wheeling Symphony Orchestra.

The entry point into a world where you can let your imagination run wild and let the rhythms of an incredible symphony take you away. Like Wheeling Symphony Orchestra’s next performance on March 10th, called ‘Inspired by Dance’.

“It’s a very interesting program that combines Russian and French music,” said Raphel.

Russian and French music, at first that might turn you off, but you don’t have to be a music aficionado to appreciate what the symphony can bring to the stage.

“I think the key is that we want to try find ways to allow people to experience the music so that they feel comfortable,” said Raphel.

But what about Mister Maestro, Andre Raphel?

Where was it that he first fell in love with music?

It started with the 1970’s broadcasts of the Pittsburgh Symphony under the baton of Andre Previn.

“I was very taken by the power, if you will, of the music to communicate with the audience and also by Previn as a person and his ability to, in a way, bring the music to the audience in a different way,” said Raphel.

That’s something Raphel tries to do for each of their performances.

‘Inspired by Dance’ takes place Friday at 7:30 at the Capitol Theatre.