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Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre

April Foolishness, The Ohio Valley Symphony

230401-OVS-Fools-Poster-Rev-DApril 1, 2023
at 7:30 p.m.
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We all need a bit of levity in our lives and April 1st is the perfect time for it.  Maestro Peter Stafford Wilson will lead the OVS in an evening of whimsy and farce.  Rev. Dr. Mark Parsons will join him with tongue planted firmly in cheek narrating The Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra.  This demos each instrument of the orchestra and the narrator lets us know why a good Lutheran would not want to play it! Also on the program is Vaughan Williams Aristophanic Suite (remember Aristophanes is the father of comedy), William Walton’s Facade Suite No. 1 and Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije Suite (music written for one of the earliest sound movies about a fictitious soldier).

Peter Stafford Wilson, conductor
Peter Stafford Wilson, one of the most exciting and talked about conductors of his generation, is entering his 17th season as Music Director of Ohio’s Springfield Symphony Orchestra.  Concurrently, he holds the post of Music Director of the Westerville Symphony, and was named Principal Conductor of Tulsa Ballet in 2012.

With the SSO he brought international attention for Agriculture and the Arts Growing Together and American Made: Celebrating Our Manufacturing Heritage and a new multi-media, multi discipline production of Gustav Holst’s The Planets resulted in a sellout house.  Under his baton, the orchestra’s innovative series, “Night Lights,” has enjoyed steadily increasing sales and attendance.

Mr. Wilson held the posts of Assistant and Associate Conductor of The Columbus Symphony Orchestra for 28 seasons.  He was named Artistic Director of the orchestra’s Festival Weeks @ The Southern, for which his innovative programming was consistently praised.  Mr. Wilson has had enormous community reaction and has been recognized as “Best Music Director” and “Best in the ‘Bus 2015” for his work in Columbus.  He also served as Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, which he has regularly led in local and regional concerts.  The CSYO has performed at national and international conferences and tours in such places as Alberta, Austria, the Czech Republic, The People’s Republic of China, and Germany, where the CSYO maintains an exchange relationship forged by Wilson, with the Heinrich Schütz Konservatorium in Dresden. Wilson was awarded the George Hardesty Award for Leadership Excellence by the Columbus Symphony and the

During Mr. Wilson’s 25 year tenure, the SSO has more than doubled its public offerings and seen its budget and community financial support grow more than 500%.    Mr. Wilson has led over 100 performances with BalletMet Columbus.

A native of North Carolina, Mr. Wilson studied at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where his primary mentor was the late Thomas Schippers.  During his years at CCM, he became a leading exponent of contemporary music, often collaborating with faculty and student composers, including the Conservatory’s Visiting Professor of Composition, Lukas Foss.  He also studied at the Aspen Music School, where he studied with Dennis Russell Davies, Eastern Music Festival (on whose faculty he subsequently served), Pierre Monteux School, Boris Goldovsky Summer Opera Institute and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, where he was associated with Franco Ferrara.  He has work with Canton Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and The Cleveland Orchestra and has guest conducted the orchestras of Bozeman, Charlotte, Chautauqua, Dallas, Detroit, Erie, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Louisville, North Carolina, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Roanoke, Seattle, Syracuse, Tucson, Tulsa, West Virginia, Wheeling and Youngstown.  He also led the Independence Day Concert with Peter Nero’s Philly Pops Orchestra and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic’s highly popular “Awesome Classics” series, as well as programs with Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo and Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in China.  No stranger to the lyric theater, Mr. Wilson has held the positions of Principal Conductor of South Carolina’s Opera Charleston and Music Director of the Ohio Light Opera and conducted performances at Spoleto Festival USA, Young Artists Opera Theater, College Light Opera, Canton Lyric Opera and Otterbein College Opera Theatre.

Mr. Wilson and his wife, Barbara Karam Wilson, Director of Corporate Tax for the White Castle System, reside in Westerville, Ohio.  When not conducting, he enjoys traveling, golf and reading.  He is also a wine enthusiast and an avid gourmet cook.  Wilson and his wife also serve as staff for their two rescue kitties, Murphy and Smidgen.

The Rev. Dr. Mark Parsons, narrator
The Rev. Dr. Mark E. Parsons II, O.S.L. has extensive performance experience with music and theater ensembles throughout the region, including with the Actors Guild of Parkersburg and the Charleston Light Opera Guild.  He has performed in numerous concerts as both a soloist and ensemble member and in musicals such as Rent, South Pacific, The Wedding Singer, A Year with Frog and Toad, La Cage Aux Folles, The Civil War Musical, Chicago, and Hairspray.  He enjoys lending his acting and music skills to enhance community performing arts and is excited to be working with The Ohio Valley Symphony.

Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry in Theology and the Arts (Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC), a Master of Divinity (Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware, Ohio), and a Bachelor of Arts (WVU).  Mark is the pastor of Gallipolis First Presbyterian Church and is a leader in his regional and national judicatory bodies.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees at The French Art Colony.

Mark is father to Markus (high school freshman) and Isabella (college sophomore), as well as to his three fur babies, Bentley, Boo, and Whitney.

The Wasps: Aristophanic Suite
Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op. 60
The Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra
Façade: Suite No. 1
Vaughan Williams