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Barnstormers Will Kick Off ArtsLink Series

By Staff | Sep 9, 2009

The Barnstormers

The ninth annual ArtsLink Concert Series opens Sept. 13 and promises a variety of musical entertainment that will delight audiences, organizers say.

“This year’s series includes everything from toe-tapping fiddlers to artful baroque interpretations,” said Fran Caldwell, ArtsLink president. “As an added bonus, we will have a free concert in the spring.”

The concert season opens with “The Barnstormers,” at 2 p.m. Sept. 13 in the Lincoln Theater. Tom Jolin and Slim Harrison perform traditional, old time, American folk music. Their toe-tapping, high-energy music is performed on hammer dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, button accordion, guitar, and vocals. This concert is sponsored by Marble King.

Local sponsor for this event, which includes school performances at the New Martinsville School and Paden City Elementary School, is Marble King of Paden City. The program is also made possible by additional funds from West Virginia Northern Community College, WETZ/WYMJ Radio, The City of New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Department, and the Plaza Inn.

On Oct. 25, concert-goers will be treated to a performance by the Chatham Baroque at the Marin Mansion in Sistersville. The Marin family has graciously opened their home for this special event. “Tyler Alive” is the sponsor.

Chatham Baroque

A renowned Pittsburgh organist, Luke Mayernik, will be the featured performer at the Nov. 15 concert, at a special 3 p.m. time at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Currently the organist at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Wheeling, Mayernik composed “In Memoriam: A Requiem for Fred Rogers” that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. This concert is sponsored by Barb and Tom Daly.

No ArtsLink concert series would be complete without the annual Valentine’s Concert and gourmet dessert smorgasbord. The Feb. 20 event will feature a returning favorite, Daphne Alderson of Pittsburgh, who will perform “Songs that Oscar Taught Me,” featuring songs by Oscar Hammerstein and his various collaborators. The 7:30 p.m. performance will be preceded by a lecture, “Street Songs: The Music of Hammerstein and Sondheim” at 6:30 p.m. Mensore Distributing Co. is the sponsor for this event.

“The Fabulous Shpielkehs,” scheduled for 2 p.m. March 14 at Magnolia High School, will offer a cultural experience unfamiliar to many in this area. This talented group performs klezmer music-Jewish folk music. Susan Hoffman Watts and her mother, Elaine, are third and fourth generation klezmer musicians. Their music, which has its origins in Old Eastern Europe, is easily identifiable by its characteristic expressive melodies, reminiscent of the human voice, complete with laughing and weeping. This concert is sponsored by the Wetzel County Hospital.

The season concludes with a free concert, courtesy of the Stealey Community Fund. “Resonance Percussion” will perform at 2 p.m. March 28 at Tyler Consolidated High School. Resonance Percussion performs music from across the globe in both traditional and new arrangements and original compositions; performed on instruments from the West African djembe to the steel pan drum, from the marimba and vibraphone to Japan’s taiko drum.

Season tickets may be ordered by calling ArtsLink at 304-455-2278 or by sending a check to ArtsLink, C/O WVNCC, 141 Main Street, New Martinsville, WV 26155. Season ticket prices remain the same as last year for members: family, $90, and individual, $45.

The Fabulous Shpielkehs

Performances in the ArtsLink Concert Series are presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the National Endowment for the Arts with approval of the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and The Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

All ArtsLink events are presented in handicap-accessible facilities. Persons with special needs may contact Administrative Coordinator Donna Early at 304-455-2278.

Resonance Percussion

Luke Mayernik