The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a season that includes compositions by its own conductor and by a Charleston native, along with music of The Rolling Stones and concerts featuring guest artists from around the world.
The 75th anniversary coincides with the state's sesquicentennial and the 10th anniversary of the Clay Center, where the symphony makes its home.
Symphony conductor Grant Cooper also said he's facing a personal milestone - he turns 60 in December. He joked it might be the last year the audience sees him don his traditional Christmas elves boots standing on one foot at a time during the holiday concert.
Cooper said the 2013-2014 season, which kicks off in September, comes together a little like a puzzle piece, with guest artists hired, repertoires selected and concerts scheduled.
"We're very well aware of your tastes and interests," he said to a group that included series subscribers Wednesday afternoon.
The season also takes into account his goal to add new pieces, feature new artists and find opportunities for the symphony's musicians to grow.
He pointed out that the symphony's major sponsors, including the Capitol Conference Center, ZMM Architects & Engineers and City National Bank, help keep ticket prices affordable for all and noted single adult tickets are as low as $10.
Highlights of the season include:
* The Capitol Conference Center Symphonic Series - Kicking off Sept. 20, this series includes five concerts. In October, Cooper's own composition, "Appalachian Autumn" will be paired with Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" and in May, the concert will include two compositions by Charleston native Matthew Jackfert, a West Virginia University graduate now studying at the University of Texas.
* The ZMM Architects & Engineers Pops Series includes four concerts -- the traditional holiday concert, one featuring a Rolling Stones tribute band, a concert featuring the work of well-known movie composer John Williams and a tribute to Broadway featuring the Wicked Divas, two Broadway performers.
* The City National Bank Family Discovery Series - This family-friendly series takes place on Saturday mornings with three concerts that highlight the music of Harry Potter, a visit by a performer called Slim Goodbody and a Happy Birthday West Virginia-themed show.
* "The Nutcracker" - This annual collaboration with the Charleston Ballet is scheduled for mid-December.
* Montclaire String Quartet - The resident quartet of the symphony has five Sunday afternoon concerts scheduled at the University of Charleston's Erma Byrd Gallery.
Season subscriptions are available in a range of packages and price ranges, including a Symphony Starter Pack that ranges from $65 to $174. Visit www.wvsymphony.org or call 304-561-3570 for information.Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.