WEIRTON - For 21 years, the Wheeling Symphony has performed in Weirton as part of local Fourth of July festivities, and this year was no different.
On Tuesday, under the direction of Andre Raphel, the symphony returned to Weirton, offering up a free concert for area residents at the Weirton Event Center.
Wheeling Symphony Executive Director Bruce Wheeler thanked the audience gathered at the event center, telling them a little about the symphony and its schedule of performances.
"It's really a pleasure to come to Weirton year after year," Wheeler said, also inviting residence to take in a performance in Wheeling.
Andre Raphel, conductor of the symphony, described some of the music to be performed, which included several patriotic selections such as "The Stars and Stripes Forever," "God Bless America," and "The 1812 Overture." The symphony also performed a few more varied selections, such as a medley of music from the "Star Wars" movie franchise and "The Thunderer."
"It's a lot of fun, a lot of great music," he said.
Area residents were treated Tuesday to a performance by the Wheeling Symphony at the Weirton Event Center. The symphony has been coming to Weirton for more than 20 years, offering a free community concert as part of the local Independence Day festivities. -- Craig Howell
Special guests for this year's performance were Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys, who played a few bluegrass selections, including renditions of 'Mandolin Meltdown' and 'Wires and Wood.' -- Craig Howell
Keeping with the patriotic theme of the Fourth of July holiday, Raphel asked all military veterans in the audience to stand and be recognized prior to the symphony's performance of "American Salute."
The symphony was joined during the evening by guest Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys, performing several bluegrass songs, such as "Wires and Wood" and "Catch Me If You Can."
Major sponsors for this year's concert were Tri-State Medical, the City of Weirton, the Weirton Community Foundation and WTOV-TV.
Other sponsorship and support was provided by Starvaggi Charities; Weirton Geriatric Center/Serra Foundation; First Choice America Credit Union; Hancock County Bar Association; Grae-Con Construction; Linda A. Heilman; Steel and Wolfe Funeral Home; Mountaineer Racetrack; A.V. Lauttamus Communications; Mark and Barb Trushel; Dale and Debra Moore; Robinson and Son Construction; James White Construction; Ray Greco; Blakemore Insurance Agency; Mario's Restaurant; Wine and Beverage Merchants; Charnie Insurance; Victor Greco; Leonard Pensis; Backel Corp.; Steel City Distributors; People's Choice Cafe; Arden and Nancy Ford; Edwin J. Bowman; Aman Purewal; Jack Fowler; Suzanne Kuhns; Ronald C. Ard; Gus's Goodies; Edmund DiBacco; Juginder K. Luthra; Penn-Way Pharmacy; Dee Jays Restaurant; Manuels Dry Cleaning; McCauslen Any Occasion Florist; Weirton Eye Clinic; Glenda Mobley Robinson; Gurdev S. Purewal; Daniel J. Guida; and Greco-Hertnick Funeral Home.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)