West Virginia University at Parkersburg and Artsbridge will host “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the College Activities Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Broadway stars Mary Michael Patterson (“Phantom of the Opera,”) Cary Tedder (“A Bronx Tale,”) Hilary Morrow (“Birdland Jazz Club”) and Sam Hamashima (“Comfort Women: A New Musical”) will perform songs from Broadway, the Great American Songbook, and more under conductor Luke Frazier leading the American Pops Orchestra.
Frazier, named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by Washingtonian Magazine, is a Parkersburg South High School and West Virginia University graduate. He was the first-ever student selected for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s (WVSO) Andrew and Amy Vaughan Student Symphonic Fellowship. The program develops and encourages West Virginia high school students interested in pursuing a career as professional musicians, educators, composers or conductor by allowing fellows to sit alongside WVSO musicians in rehearsals, attend concerts, and meet and interact with guest artists.
“Luke is a product of our Wood County music program,” said Dr. H.G. Young, WVU Parkersburg Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences professor. “This event is a result of a young man giving back to the place that nurtured his talents and his advocating for music education.”
Founded in 2015 by Frazier, the American Pops Orchestra is comprised of musicians from Washington, D.C. and New York City that use innovative musical concepts to breathe new life into classic tunes. Frazier leads the organization to provide free public concerts as part of a mission to share the joy of music will all members of the community.
The company will tour schools in the Mid-Ohio Valley for a week, visiting Wood, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, and Doddridge counties in West Virginia, then Belpre and Little Hocking schools in Ohio. The tour is sponsored by Artsbridge.
Only 500, free tickets to the event will be available in the WVU Parkersburg Business Office until Monday, Nov. 5. Any remaining tickets will be distributed at the door on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, contact Dr. H.G. Young at HG.Young@wvup.edu or 304.424.8248.
Luke Frazier Mary Michael Patterson Cary Tedder
Hilary Morrow Sam Hamashima