Guild sings praises of first event April 28

COME ENJOY AN EVENING OF MUSIC — Representatives of the Ohio Valley Music Guild who are planning “A Classical Evening” on April 28 at the Steubenville Country Club are, seated, from left, Dottie Bossert, event Chairman Joyce Orlando and Josephine Irvine-Groves; and standing, Lil Ferguson and Debbie Elias. Tickets are $40 for the event that features heavy hors d’eouvres; an evening of arias, ensemble opera and American musical theater courtesy of members of the Pittsburgh Opera; and a cash bar. The RSVP deadline is April 21. -- Janice Kiaski

STEUBENVILLE — The Ohio Valley Music Guild kicks off the first of its three public musical events of 2019 with what’s billed as “A Classical Evening” on April 28 at the Steubenville Country Club, located at 413 Lovers Lane.

But don’t be fooled — or scared, guild leaders say.

It’s music that is as recognizable as it is refreshing and entertaining as part of an evening of arias, ensemble opera and American musical theater featuring members of the Pittsburgh Opera.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for the event with a cocktail supper at 6 p.m., featuring a buffet with stations offering heavy hors d’oeuvres, according to event planners, among them Joyce Orlando, event chair, and committee members Debbie Elias, Josephine Irvine-Groves, Dottie Bossert and Lil Ferguson.

Tickets are $40 per person. There will be a cash bar. Valet parking will be available. To RSVP by April 21, checks can be made payable to the Ohio Valley Music Guild at P.O. Box 2158, Wintersville OH 43953.

For event details, contact Orlando at (740) 264-0292; Elias at (740) 266-2203; Ferguson at (740) 264-2232; Bossert at (740) 346-0518; or Irvine-Groves at (740) 381-3070.

“This is one of our most requested functions,” said Orlando of the upcoming performance. “They sing the most popular arias of opera, ones that everybody recognizes, and they do a lot of Broadway,” she said.

“There’s something for everybody.”

And it’s a close-to-home event, another plus, according to guild members.

“For a lot of people, it’s hard to travel to Pittsburgh or Wheeling or Youngstown or the Cleveland area to see really top-notch performers, and we bring them to town,” Orlando said. “That’s what we’re all about — bringing cultural events to town that are not run of the mill.”

The entertainment begins at 7 p.m., bringing a familiar face back to the area in Mark Trawka, pianist, and new ones in Antonio Botti-Lodovico, messo-soprano; Terrence Chin-Loy, tenor; and Caitlin Gotimer.

Trawka joined Pittsburgh Opera as director of musical studies for the prestigious Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Training Program in the 2003-04 season and also took on the duties of chorus master in the ensuing years.

Trawka began his operatic career in the Houston Opera Studio and in San Francisco’s Opera’s Merola Program. He coaches and performs with the resident artists and also has accompanied renowned mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti in her Pittsburgh recital appearances.

Botti-Lodovico, Chin-Loy and Gotimer are first-year Pittsburgh Opera resident artists.

The guild’s other events for 2019 include an evening of jazz, set for July 26, and the November membership and dinner meeting.

Proceeds from the guild’s events fund the awarding of a music-related scholarship annually and also benefit the Grand Theater Restoration Project, also with an annual award.

New members are welcome to join the guild with the annual membership fee being $20, although other donor membership levels are available, from $50 on up. Checks can be made payable to the Ohio Valley Music Guild and mailed to the guild at P.O. Box 2158, Wintersville OH 43953.

The guild officers are Marie-Helene Wilson, president; Elias, first vice president; Ross Gallabrese, second vice president; Irvine-Groves, secretary; Orlando, treasurer; and Ferguson, membership chairman.