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West Virginia Symphony is ready to rock 'n' roll

Chris Dorst
West Virginia Symphony Orchestra staff and volunteers get in the spirit of Symphony Sunday's rock 'n' roll theme. The free event June 2 on the lawn at the University of Charleston features a variety of activities. Shown are (from left) Tommy Napier, Shela Neal, Scott Dodson and Erin Brewster.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- What does a symphony orchestra play when the theme is rock 'n' roll?Well, if you're the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and it's Symphony Sunday, then the answer is Beethoven and the Beatles."Roll Over Beethoven: The Symphony Rocks" is the theme for the Bayer Symphony Sunday on June 2 on the riverside lawn of the University of Charleston.The 31st annual free concert begins at 8 p.m., but the fun starts 12 hours earlier with registration for the 9 a.m. Beat Beethoven Fun Run.Food, beer and wine concessions will be available from 3 to 10 p.m.The Rock n' Roll Children's Parade kicks off the afternoon lawn activities at 3 p.m., followed by a lemonade reception.The Book Nook hours are 3 to 6 p.m., whereas the artisan tents to pursue and buy crafts will stay open until the start of the concert. Likewise, live music on the main stage and in the main tent will be performed from 3 to 8 p.m.At 8 p.m., the symphony begins its concert, playing medleys of the Beatles and "Jesus Christ Superstar," patriotic and other pieces and concluding with Beethoven Symphony No. 5. There will be fireworks.A complete schedule of Symphony Sunday activities may be found at or
The rock 'n' roll theme was adopted by other events related to Symphony Sunday.
  • "Rockin' the Rooftop" will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. May 31 on the roof of the Columbia Pipeline Group Building, 1700 MacCorkle Ave.
  • The Steptoe & Johnson Pinnacle Party will feature music, heavy hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine. It's presented by Symphony Tomorrow and the West Virginia Symphony League. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at
  • "The Soul of Memphis" rehearsal dinner, where diners listen to the symphony practice, begins with cocktails at 7 p.m. June 1 in the Riggleman Hall rotunda at U.C. Tickets are $100 and may be purchased at
  • Symphony Sunday is presented by the West Virginia Symphony League, the volunteer group that raises money for the orchestra. Erin Brewster is president of the League. She is general co-chairwoman of the Symphony Sunday committee and Shelia Neal is chairwoman.Reach Rosalie Earle at or 304-348-5115.
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