GALLIPOLIS — The Ariel Opera House will be presenting its school age youth performers in its annual Holiday Voices of Christmas performance at 3 p.m. this Saturday.
The event is free and open to the public.
Performances are anticipated to feature holiday classics on piano and string instruments with vocal performances also being featured. Students have spent the season preparing for performances under violin instructor Elaine Swinney, voice and piano instructor Judith Cavendish and piano instructor Barb White.
“It’s providing another educational opportunity for the youth of our area for more one-on-one study,” said Ariel Opera House Executive Director Lora Snow. “This enhances the education that they also get in the public schools.”
“Education has always been a priority for us,” said Snow. “It’s important to show off the talent of our youth and their hard work.”
She said lessons had begun in the performing arts center since the early 90s in a variety of aspects.
“Our teachers are working professionals and been out and performed to make a living (of music),” said Snow.
The Ariel Opera House was rededicated in April 2006 after benefactor Ann Carson Dater established an endowment for the facility.
A plaque on the wall of the opera house reads “The gift of Ann Carson Dater was made with the hope that this building will forever be a place where girls scratchily play their first violin, boys courageously play the cello and where little girls display their first tutu. This building will forever be a place where the ordinary demands of life shall be suspended upon the commencement of great performances.”
Information provided by the opera house states that in July of 2005, Ann Carson Dater purchased the Second Avenue complex containing the auditorium and presented it to the community as a permanent home for The Ohio Valley Symphony and for use as a performing arts centre. The re-dedication of the facility as The Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre was April 22, 2006 (110 years after the original dedication on April 23, 1896). Ownership of the building has made expansion of its programs a reality.
“It’s an amazing thing that she has done for our area to make sure that the children have access to things like this,” said Snow.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.