West Chester orchestra to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday

The West Chester Symphony Orchestra (shown during a previous performance at Keehner Park) will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with an afternoon of music and arts activities on Saturday, Feb. 22, starting at 1 p.m. at MidPointe Library West Chester. CONTRIBUTED
The West Chester Symphony Orchestra (shown during a previous performance at Keehner Park) will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with an afternoon of music and arts activities on Saturday, Feb. 22, starting at 1 p.m. at MidPointe Library West Chester. CONTRIBUTED

Afternoon event at West Chester library to feature music, arts activities

The West Chester Symphony Orchestra will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with music and an afternoon of arts activities on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. at MidPointe Library West Chester.

“This is a great way to celebrate the arts in our community with a free concert for the community by our all-volunteer community orchestra. We are giving back to make our community vibrant and strong,” said Susan Hughes, a cellist with the orchestra.

Throughout the afternoon event, the orchestra will perform several Beethoven pieces, along with a Beethoven Story Time. Plus, there will be a “String Instrument Petting Zoo” for a hands-on experience with a stringed instrument, and a ballet performance, too. The event is free and family-friendly with 15- to 30-minute activities geared toward children.

“Beethoven is one of the most famous composers in history and one of my all-time favorites. To have an opportunity to play his orchestral music is a personal thrill for me,” Hughes said.

For more information about the life of Beethoven, community members may also listen to “Beethoven: A Personal Look at the Man Behind the Masterpieces” an audio podcast series written, narrated and performed by acclaimed Cincinnati pianist and educator Michael Chertock. The podcast series can be found on YouTube. Each podcast runs between 8 to 14 minutes long.

Hughes said the afternoon event is perfect for seniors and it’s also a great opportunity for families with children.

“This may be the first opportunity they get to see and hear a live orchestra performance. The short segments allow people to come and go or stay for as long as they like. The hands-on time with string instruments is always fun for kids and adults. For many, it’s the first time they’ll actually have a chance to hold and play a string instrument. And it’s all free,” she said.

Conducted by Susan Schirmer, the West Chester Symphony Orchestra is made up of about 60 members, including strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. With more than 20 years of history in the community, about 10 members of the group have been with the orchestra since its inception.

The group, which performs about six to eight free concerts a year, will hold its annual fundraiser on Saturday, March 28.

HOW TO GO

What: Sample the Arts of West Chester as the West Chester Symphony Orchestra celebrates Beethoven's 250th Birthday.

Where: MidPointe Library West Chester, 9363 Centre Pointe Drive (across from Lakota West High School)

When: Saturday, Feb. 22, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cost: Free and open to the public

More info: www.westchestersymphony.org

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