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West Virginia Symphony cancels first half of season

PARKERSBURG — The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg is announcing the cancellation of the first half of its 2020-21 concert season in Parkersburg, in conjunction with the WVSO’s cancellation of its Charleston performances for the same period.

Due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis, the WVSO-P will not be able to perform with live audiences as scheduled for October through January. The concerts are held at Blennerhassett Middle/Elementary School at Parkersburg.

While this news is disappointing, it represents the safest and most prudent plan to ensure the well-being of the entire community, said WVSO-P Chairman Mary Ann Osborne. The hope of the WVSO-P is to reunite for concerts February through May, if possible, she said.

Additionally, the WVSO-P is working with the WVSO in Charleston to explore other programming options, including live streaming, and will release details regarding events as soon as they become available, she said.

WVSO-P has been fortunate to receive steadfast support from patrons and donors, as well as corporate, foundation, and community partners for 33 years, Osborne said. COVID-19 has had a tremendous economic impact on the symphony, she said.

According to information from the WVSO and the WVSO-P, the decision to cancel the concerts came after careful review and discussion about the safest and most prudent plan to ensure the well-being of the entire community.

Regarding the cancellation’s effect on musicians, the two organizations are committed to working with the musicians to explore ways to remain connected to the community. The symphony hopes to present programming during this time that will adhere to all guidelines related to COVID-19.

The February 2021 concerts in Charleston and Parkersburg are still scheduled at this time. WVSO-P will advise its patrons and community of plans for the second part of the 20-21 season. Information will be also be posted on its website at www.wvsop.org.

At this time, the WVSO and the WVSO-P have no scheduled performances at outside or alternate venues in the near future. WVSO and WVSO-P hope to present socially distanced performances with a smaller number of its musicians and will alert all patrons when plans are finalized.

The WVSO-P Board of Directors and the League raise money to bring the WVSO in Charleston to Parkersburg for performances.

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