WHEELING, W.Va. – West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling will host a concert on Saturday, Dec. 1, featuring two local bluegrass bands. The Wheeling Park High School Bluegrass Sophomore Band will kick off the event at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Junior Band at 1 p.m. and the Senior Band at 1:30 p.m. The Chestnut Hill Bluegrass Band will finish the show beginning at 2 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.
The Wheeling Park Bluegrass Band, started in 1993 by Bob Turbanic, a graphic design teacher, and Kim Mattis, school librarian, and still under their guidance, remains an all-volunteer after school activity. Turbanic and Mattis note they have existed for 25 years on the love of the bluegrass community and the kindness of strangers. Through the years, the Wheeling Park Students have performed on the main stages at major festivals such as Bean Blossom Indiana; the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival; The Festival of The Bluegrass, Lexington, Kentucky; The Pennyroyal Opera House in Fairview, Ohio; and the world-famous Wheeling Jamboree. They have toured Japan, opening for Nashville mandolinist, singer and songwriter Sierra Hull, and played for the late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd at the nation’s capital.
The Chestnut Hill Band is a group of well experienced musicians who play traditional bluegrass music. The group consists of family and life-long friends who have been entertaining audiences for the past two decades. Glen Shultz plays a clean banjo, Rod Hardy plays the rhythm guitar and sings most of the lead vocals, Duane Hardesty plays the upright bass and sister Clenda picks the mandolin and sings. Mark Hardesty picks the resonator guitar, plays the rhythm and lead guitar and sings lead and harmony.
The Hall also will offer a craft for the younger visitors to create and refreshments.
For more information about this event or WVIH, contact Debbie Jones, site manager, at (304) 238-1300 or Deborah.J.Jones@wv.gov.
West Virginia Independence Hall has been on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) since 1970. It was 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 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.