WSO News

Wheeling Symphony Orchestra to Receive $25,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

For Immediate Release

May 16, 2024

Press Contact: Tammi L. Secrist

Director of Institutional Advancement

Wheeling Symphony Orchestra



Wheeling Symphony Orchestra to Receive $25,000

Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts


[Wheeling, WV]—The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a Grants for Arts Projects award of $ 25,000.  This grant will support 2025 Young People’s Concerts for students in the Ohio Valley and Washington PA. The NEA will award 1,135 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling more than $37 million as part of its second round of fiscal year 2024 grants.


“Projects like the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra’s Young People’s Concerts exemplify the creativity and care with which communities are telling their stories, creating connection, and responding to challenges and opportunities in their communities—all through the arts,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “So many aspects of our communities, such as cultural vitality, health and wellbeing, infrastructure, and the economy, are advanced and improved through investments in art and design, and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to ensuring people across the country benefit.”

“We view our Young People’s Concerts as an essential part of the WSO’s mission to serve our community through music.  With this grant from the NEA, we will be able to reach more students through innovative, educational, and accessible programming of live orchestral music. We are grateful not only for the financial support from the NEA, but the encouragement and enthusiasm they have for the WSO connecting with the students in the Ohio Valley,” said Sonja Thoms, WSO Executive Director.


This project will introduce students to music for orchestra written in America that connects with cultures from around the world.  Students will explore music by Leonard Bernstein from West Side Story, Clarice Assad’s Haddad that includes jazz, rock and roll, and Appalachian fiddling, two spirituals that inspired compositions by Florence Price and Antonin Dvorak, Michael Thomas Foumai’s legend of Maui that is also a character in the film Moana, and Lin Manual Miranda’s Hamilton telling the story of America’s founding fathers.


For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit