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West Virginia Independence Hall Museum to celebrate season with “Courthouse Holiday Concert” Dec. 17 2005

The historic West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) Museum in Wheeling will present the Vance Quartet in a “Courthouse Holiday Concert” on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

The quartet, which is based in Wheeling, consists of Jane Ketchum, Terry Naughton, William Stephens and Kathryn Voorhees. Quartet members sing at the Vance Presbyterian Church and also have performed at Oglebay Park, the Stifel Fine Arts Center and the Fort Henry Club. Individual members have performed with various community choral organizations and provided musical services at Temple Shalom.

The group will perform in the gas-lit courtroom of WVIH, considered to be the birthplace of West Virginia. The show will include traditional songs from the mid-1800s, including “Good King Wenceslas,” “Silent Night” and “I Wonder as I Wander.” More contemporary favorites such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Variations on Jingle Bells” will round out the performance. In addition, the quartet will recite Civil War-era readings from journals, newspapers and other sources, and sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the only Civil War song with a reference to the nativity.

For more information about the “Courthouse Holiday Concert,” call Gerry Reilly at (304) 238-1300.

West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the exception of major holidays. This year the facility will be closed from Dec. 24-26, and Dec. 31, 2005 - Jan. 2, 2006 for the holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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Ginny Painter
Deputy Commissioner/Communications Manager
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV  25305
Phone (304) 558-0220, ext. 120
Fax (304) 558-2779
Email ginny.painter@wvculture.org