POINT PLEASANT — The sounds of the American Wind Symphony Orchestra will soon fill the amphitheater at Riverfront Park in Point Pleasant.
This free, one-of-a-kind concert will take place June 20. The show’s itinerary and start time are still being firmed up, according to Steven Trinkle, who is assisting with the project. Trinkle said the music typically starts at dusk and the show in Point Pleasant will include 40 musicians from around the world, including an entire percussion section made up of female percussionists.
For the past few weeks, the Point Counterpoint II vessel, which is the physical home of the American Wind Symphony, has been docked at Riverfront Park for a sort of spring cleaning. Trinkle said the vessel had been in Pittsburgh and then docked locally at Amherst. While at Riverfront Park, the vessel has gotten a new coat of paint and sound technicians were expected to arrive this week to prepare for this summer’s performances.
Rehearsals for those performances actually begin next week when those musicians from around the world begin to arrive in Huntington, the site of the first show. This means the vessel will leave Riverfront Park for a bit but will return for the June 20 performance.
Trinkle, who was the director of bands at Marshall University last year, said audiences will be in for a treat with pieces written specifically for this wind symphony being performed — even some world premieres.
The performances of the American Wind Symphony on its floating barge/stage this summer are a prerequisite for a new program called “Winds Over West Virginia” which is intended to place these professional musicians in eight communities across the state to expose youth to this specialized orchestral music, Trinkle said.
As for that interesting looking vessel, the Point Counterpoint II, Trinkle said it has an art gallery inside it with pieces from West Virginia artists, as well as artists from Cuba. In addition, there is an actual theater on the vessel currently being used to store percussion instruments. The vessel definitely has a personality all its own, one which is dedicated to the arts and is 195 feet long and 38 feet wide. All this and it literally unfolds into the home of the orchestra, creating its unique stage in whatever port it finds itself.
The Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center and the City of Point Pleasant are hosting the orchestra and free concert.
According to the American Wind Symphony Orchestra organization, for 57 years, it has been making musical headlines along the waterways of the United States, the Caribbean and northern Europe. It is under the direction of Maestro Robert Austin Boudreau.
More on this event next week in the Point Pleasant Register.