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From Lunch with Books: John Devlin Gives Background of Dmitri Shostakovich and Conditions Surrounding Music

Posted 05/10/22

From Lunch with Books: John Devlin Gives Background of Dmitri Shostakovich and Conditions Surrounding Music

Prior to the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra's May 20th performance, John Devlin, WSO Music Director, provided the Lunch with Books audience a background of the conditions that surrounded the life and music of Dmitri Shostakovich. Maestro Devlin gave excellent insight into the Soviet-era Russian conditions that surrounded Shostakovich's life and therefore can be heard in his music. This includes his many symphonies and operas, which Devlin sampled for the audience in the presentation. The Wheeling Symphony will perform Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 at their Friday, May 20, 2022 performance Music as History from East to West at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling, WV.

Conductor John Gennaro Devlin is an ardent champion of American music, an innovator of concert design, and a thought leader in the field of classical music. Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Devlin is only the ninth conductor in its 90-year history to hold that title and, at 35, is one of the nation’s youngest music directors to lead a professional symphony orchestra. Devlin is a strong advocate for American music, focusing on it in his programming and having premiered over 40 new American works. 

A very exciting Wheeling Symphony 2022-2023 will be unveiled later this month, with subscription sales to be available shortly thereafter. Watch for more information on upcoming concerts and new season information.


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May 17, 2022:  Norwegians in Wheeling

Wheeling is a city of immigrants -- Italians, Germans, Greek, Lebanese, Scots-Irish, Irish-Irish, Polish. We know these populations well from their distinct festivals, churches, and fraternal organizations -- but what's not well known is the history (or non-history) of the Norse in Wheeling. To celebrate Syttende Mai (the 17th of May), Norwegian Constitution Day, Erin Rothenbuehler, the Director of the Bellaire Public Library, will present a comprehensive history of Norwegians in the Upper Ohio Valley, from the Viking age to the modern day. 

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May 19: Thursday Evening at 7 (reception starts at 6) Wheeling in the 1970s - Photography Exhibit Opening with Bill Burke

Reception with light refreshments starts at 6. Talk followed by exhibit opening starts at 7.

Bio: A Maryland native, Bill Burke graduated from Wheeling College in 1971. He became focused on photography during his senior year. During that time, the Miners For Democracy, a union reform group, held a meeting at the college. Burke got involved with the group’s struggle. After graduation, he moved to Wheeling and photographed for the UMWA at mine sites in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Between assignments he photographed in downtown Wheeling and in the Woodsdale neighborhood where he lived. It is the photographs from these days that comprise the exhibit.

Bill moved to the Washington DC area in 1975 and photographed primarily for international labor unions. Upon his retirement in 2016, his archive was acquired by the University Of Maryland. He lives in Silver Spring MD with his wife Jonni. 


May 24, 2022:  Wheeling Poetry Series featuring Amy M. Alvarez

Amy M. Alvarez is a Black Latina poet, educator, and scholar. Her work focuses on race, ethnicity, gender, regionality, nationality, systemic injustice, and social justice. She has been awarded fellowships from CantoMundo and the Furious Flower Poetry Center. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in literary journals including Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, River Styx, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Alaska Quarterly Review, PRISM international, and elsewhere. Amy was born in New York City to Jamaican and Puerto Rican parents. She has taught English and Humanities courses at public high schools in the Bronx, New York, and Boston, Massachusetts. She now lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, and teaches at WVU. Series Host: West Virginia Poet Laureate, Marc Harshman.

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May 31, 2022:  Not Sonnets: Observations from an Ordinary Life.

For years Bonnie Thurston has written short poems that focus on a single image or one revelatory idea. They were not sonnets, but were all fourteen lines long. The great sonneteers wrote sequences, often several on one topic, and in this Bonnie Thurston follows in their footsteps. The poems lead the reader on a gentle journey from home as they move through seasons in a sequence focusing on daily experiences that, in the words of Wordsworth, are “reflected in tranquility.” In these insightful, honed, and precise poems you will discover the extraordinariness of the ordinary life and, mirabile dictu, wisdom. This is a collection to savour.

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