WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Encouraging and inspiring young musicians is the goal of music programs all over the valley.

But thanks in part to the Wheeling Symphony, a group of local high school students were able to spend some time with a master musician Tuesday.

Xavier Foley is an award winning musician. He plays the double bass which is rarely featured as a solo instrument. He has appeared as a soloist with the Sphinx and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Nashville Symphony.

Later this week, he will perform with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra in a Masterworks Concert. But Tuesday he spent time with a group of young musicians, helping to inspire them to follow their dreams.

“I’m at the John Marshall High School and I’m going to present some solo bass pieces probably by Bachand and talk to the kids about career stuff and see if they have any questions for me “

Xavier Foley – Solo bassist visiting John Marshall High School

It’s part of the Wheeling Symphony Education Outreach Program.

“Education is key to the mission of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. We are not only a performance entity but we like to spread music throughout the Ohio Valley to all of the schools.”

John Devlin – Music Director, WSO

Foley played a number of songs displaying different techniques and styles. He also shared his story with the students and took several questions.. While he has a performed in some of the nations top venues todays session was a challenge

” The younger crowd is for me the toughest crowd. So it will be great if I can capture their attention,”

Xavier Foley – Solo bassist visiting John Marshall High School

He got their attention with a heavy metal inspired original composition. Lauren Rice is junior at John Marshall High School. She plays cello and says she was thrilled with the session.

“It was awesome. I really felt like I could feel the emotion that he was conveying though his instrument. It sounded like he was playing two parts at one and it was amazing “

– Lauren Rice – Junior at John Marshall High School

Lauren says she plans on continuing here education in music after high school.

“I definitely want to at least minor in some sort of music performance I’m really passionate about playing my cello and seeing him as a solo performer just really inspired me.”

– Lauren Rice – Junior at John Marshall High School

Foley will be performing with the Wheeling Symphony this Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. with violinist Eunice Kim.


Tickets for the ” Foley, Kim, and a Mayer Masterpiece” can be purchased online. For more information go to their website.