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West Virginia Independence Hall Museum to host free holiday concerts in December

The historic West Virginia Independence Hall Museum in Wheeling will celebrate this holiday season with free concerts on Dec. 1 and Dec. 15.

On Sunday, Dec. 1, singers John Marcinizyn, James Ferla and Daphne Alderson will perform a program entitled “Behold That Star” featuring seasonal music.

“We feel the magic of Christmas is best captured in music,” said Ferla. “Our program includes melodies from long ago, as well as from more recent times. We have created unique arrangements that are alternately wistful, haunting, rollicking, and above all, joyful.”

Marcinizyn and Ferla were both members of the “Dear Friends” ensemble, a popular local group which disbanded last year. As soloists and ensemble players, the two have performed throughout the United States, including programs at the Smithsonian, the University of Akron, Arizona State University, the Chatauqua Institution, and on National Public Radio. Alderson has performed at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., at Avery Fisher Hall and Merkin Hall in New York City, and with the Wheeling Symphony.

The gaslights in the museum’s historic courtroom will provide a warm glow on Sunday, Dec. 15, for a concert by the Vance Quartet. Entitled “A Courthouse Christmas—Then and Now,” the program of contemporary and Civil War-era holiday music will include traditional carols such as “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night,” as well as the more modern tunes “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Light refreshments will be served after this concert.

Both concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, call (304) 238-1300.

West Virginia Independence Hall Museum, 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.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exception of some holidays and is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling. The museum is closed on Sundays in January and February. The facility is operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation.

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 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
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779