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2011 SUMMER ELIZABETH CONCERT – Deborah Henson-Conant

Deborah Enson Conant with her harp on a patriotic backgroundThe grand finale will include the “1812 Overture” and “Stars & Stripes Forever” complete with fireworks.

For the third straight year, the Ohio Valley Symphony will help celebrate the Fourth of July with a free concert in Gallipolis City Park.

Joining the OVS and music director Ray Fowler at 8 p.m. will be Deborah Henson-Conant, the “hip harpist” who will return to the area in October for the OVS’s season opener at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School. It will be the first time an OVS soloist has appeared twice in the same year.

“Aside from the fact that she’s perfect for a July 4 event, I’m looking at it as an opportunity,” said Fowler. “There are people who keep peeking into the Ariel and not quite cracking the door open. When they hear Deborah on July 4, though, they’ll want to hear her again.”

Henson-Conant is a composer, performer, singer, songwriter, author, cartoonist, entertainer, comedian and electric harpist — all rolled into one. She’s put on a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, opened for Ray Charles, toured with the Boston Pops and released a dozen albums from Latin jazz to Celtic to blues.

She’s also revolutionized her instrument with a custom-made, 36-string electric “harness harp.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to be back for another Fourth of July concert,” said Lora Lynn Snow, the orchestra’s executive director. “It’s a great time for the whole family, so bring some chairs and head to downtown Gallipolis.”

— Thomas Consolo

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2010 SUMMER ELIZABETH CONCERT – J. Mark McVey

Photo of J. Mark McVeyThe grand finale will include the “1812 Overture” and “Stars & Stripes Forever” complete with fireworks.

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2009 SUMMER ELIZABETH CONCERT – Bryon Stripling

Bryon Stripling, The Music of Louis Armstrong from “Satchmo”

Stripling will perform the music of Louis Armstrong as seen in his Broadway show “Satchmo.” The grand finale will include the “1812 Overture” and “Stars & Stripes Forever” complete with fireworks.

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2013 Summer Elizabeth Concert

For the fifth year, The Ohio Valley Symphony will offer some free fireworks of its own to help celebrate

The free concert, July 6 at 8 pm in the Gallipolis City Park, helps celebrate the nation’s 236th birthday with a musical picnic of patriotic songs including a salute to America’s armed forces, a tribute to Martin Luther King and Sousa marches. The keystone to the evening will be Tchaikovsky’s rousing “1812 Overture.” Ray Fowler, the OVS’s founding music director, conducts.

Joining Fowler and the orchestra is the vocal group SEVEN a member of which is Gallia County’s own Phillip Armstrong.

Following their debut concert in October of 2011, SEVEN has been on a fast track to success. The Might Sound of SEVEN has re-invented the “popera” idiom by creating a new sound never before heard on the classical stage, the church platform or the convention center banquet hall.

The men of SEVEN originate from all over the United State and their roots are as diverse as their music. When Amick, Charlie, Frank, John, Kelly, Phil and Van come together, SEVEN’s live performance is an experience overflowing with joy, vitality and variety, from start to finish.

The unique voices, charm and heart of SEVEN take audiences of an inspirational journey that will change your life!

For 23 years, the Ohio Valley Symphony has been southeast Ohio’s only professional orchestra. The Fourth of July concert is part of its mission to bring great music performed by great artists to the Ohio Valley region. The program is dubbed the Summer Elizabeth Concert in honor of OVS volunteer Elizabeth Davidson, who suggested the idea. The teen’s enthusiasm convinced philanthropist Ann Carson Dater to fund the program.

Mrs. Dater has often professed the world would be a better place if more people listened to symphonic music. There’s no easier way than a free concert.

In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held in the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre in downtown Gallipolis, Ohio.

Funding for The Ohio Valley Symphony is provided by the Ann Carson Dater Endowment.

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