WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra has announced its Opening Night Gala Celebration for their new season, featuring world-renowned guests to kick off what they know will be a great year. 

Their Opening Night Gala is entitled, “American Stories” and features cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the world premiere of Migrations in Rhythm. 

This Opening Night Celebration will take place on Thursday, September 29, 2022 at the Capitol Theatre. 

Yo-Yo Ma has already made his Wheeling Symphony debut 50 years ago when he was just 17 years old, and he will be performing the John Williams Cello Concerto in honor of Williams’ 90th birthday year. 

Migrations in Rhythm: A Concerto for Beatbox and Rhyme is being performed for the first time. 

Music director, John Devlin, says that while so many orchestras focus on music that was written in Europe hundreds of years ago, it is important to take into account outside influences that have shaped our world, while highlighting the way we have made it our own. 

”So, what we’re so excited about here for Opening Night is that the concert is going to be a portrayal of all of the ideals that we have here at the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. Most importantly, that we support living, American composers. So, opening night is going to feature four American composers, two American soloists, and a lot of projects we’re very excited about. We will premiere the world’s first beatbox and rap concerto called Migrations in Rhythm, featuring a D.C.-based composer and soloist. Evan Meier wrote the music. Cristylez Bacon will be the beatboxer and rapper. We can’t wait to share this with everyone here in Wheeling.”

John Devlin – Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra

On September 29 before the concert, there is a pre-concert gala dinner which still has tickets available, and an afterparty for everyone to celebrate what is to come for the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra.  

More information about tickets and upcoming performances can be found on the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra‘s website.