The 2018-2019 Mainstage Season marks Carnegie Hall’s 35th year of presenting world-class arts programming in historic Lewisburg. From September to May, the Hall will feature an array of genres from symphonic music to comedic theater and Americana to jazz. This season is an eclectic celebration of the Hall’s commitment to its mission, which is to provide diverse programming that would otherwise not be available in our community. Through the staff’s hard work, both in and out of the building, they annually reach more than 50,000 patrons for performances, arts in education programming, classes, workshops, fine art exhibits, and more. The Hall’s marketing director, Ali Johnson, tells us, “We bring the community together through our annual Taste of our Towns (TOOT) fundraiser, Carnegie Kids’ College, free exhibit spaces, and various other activities that take place in our historic building through rentals of the space.”
“Carnegie Hall was an awesome place. Really enjoyed the show. People were dancing in the aisles.” – Clark Sigman, via fb.
Carnegie Hall originally started as the Lewisburg Academy in 1812 by the Old Stone Presbyterian Church pastor, Dr. John McElhenney and his wife, Rebecca. The academy served as a school until 1860 and in 1874, it became the Lewisburg Female Institute (L.F.I.). On December 16, 1901, a fire destroyed the structure. The following year, Andrew Carnegie donated $26,750 to the L.F.I. to erect the building that is today’s Carnegie Hall. The community pitched in and raised an additional $10,000. In 1911, the structure was renamed the Lewisburg Seminary and Conservatory of Music and served students from grades 1-12. On October 15, 1930, the Lewisburg Seminary became Greenbrier College, Inc. For over 40 years, the college held community concerts featuring musicians from all over the world. In 1972, the college closed for financial reason and the state of West Virginia immediately bought it. The state used the facility for individuals with special needs. In the early 1980’s, rumors circulated that the building was planned for demolition and in 1983, a group of community members united to create Carnegie Hall, Inc. In 1984, Carnegie Hall’s volunteers organized the very first Taste of our Town (TOOT) and the following year, the Hall hired its first paid employee, Charles Goddard IV, as managing director.
35 years later, we now enter Carnegie Hall’s 2018-19 mainstage performance season. The season kicks off on Friday, September 14th with Tim O’Brien and Jan Fabricius (pictured above).
Why the Hall likes ‘em: Tim O’Brien is a master of Americana folk music, Irish music, and Scottish music. He is a West Virginia Music Hall of Fame Inductee, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
Check it out if you like: Bluegrass and Americana folk music. O’Brien features solid guitar work, fiddle, and banjo. Jan delivers engaging vocals and harmony to the duo.
Why you should see them: O’Brien contributed to the movie soundtrack of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” as well as those of “Cold Mountain”, and “The Blob”. He is a former president of the International Bluegrass Music Association, and currently serves on the board of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.
Not recommended for: People who prefer death metal.
“A wonderful addition to a very special town. Carnegie Hall is a very special venue like few others in these United States!” – Les Thompson, via fb
This August, don’t miss Shovels and Rope on the 18th, 7:30p. It’s also the last month of the Ivy Terrace Concert Series featuring Jim Snyder and LostBoy at 6:30p on Thursday, the 9th and Hurl and Friends at 6:30p on Thursday, the 23rd. All concerts are held on the lawn (weather permitting) and are free and open to the public. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnics for an evening of festive entertainment.
The Hall is located at 611 Church Street in downtown Lewisburg. Season subscriptions may be purchased beginning August 6th; investors can redeem and purchase tickets beginning August 20th; and individual tickets go on sale to the general public starting September 4th. For more information, visit carnegiehallwv.org and 304-645-7917.
We thank the Tarbox family for letting our team photograph their family reunion of 35 in front of Carnegie Hall. 35 all around!
– HashtagWV #104. August 2018.