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NY singer is green with greed in W.Va. Symphony's 'Grinch'

Courtesy photo
Steven Stull will narrate "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" as part of the West Virginia Symphony's "Home for the Holidays" concert this weekend. Performances are Friday and Saturday at the Clay Center.

WANT TO GO?

Home for the Holidays

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday 

WHERE: Clay Center

TICKETS: $10, $22, $34, $50 and $62. No student or senior discounts.

INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.wvsymphony.orgCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Steven Stull admitted that when watching the famous cartoon classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," he was curious about the words sung by the Whos in Whoville.

"It's a lot of 'fa who fol ray' and that sort of stuff," he said from his home in New York. "The chorus sings it, but if you saw it written, you would laugh."

Stull will portray the greedy green Grinch in the West Virginia Symphony's annual Home for the Holidays pops concert this weekend at the Clay Center. Stull is no stranger to the role, Maestro Grant Cooper or the West Virginia Symphony.

"I've worked with Grant on his original piece, 'Boyz in the Wood.' He was on the faculty of Ithaca College, and someone suggested he talk to me about that role years ago," explained Stull, who has also collaborated with Cooper in performances with the Anchorage Festival of Music, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra.

Friday's concert will mark Stull's 40th performance with the West Virginia Symphony. He most recently performed with the group this spring in a concert of Mahler songs. He also appeared on its "Home for the Holidays" recording and its newly released "Tales from the West Virginia Hills."

Some of his other recordings include "The Pulse of an Irishman," Irish and Scottish songs arranged by Beethoven, and "Opera Cowpokes," opera stars performing classic country western songs. His video production "Opera Cowpokes Alive!" was broadcast on public television.

Last week, Stull performed the Grinch role with the newly formed Symphony Syracuse.

"It's the whole Dr. Seuss story," he said. "I read the narration from the book. The orchestra will play all of the cartoon version music, and I'll read from the Dr. Seuss text.

"The great part is that I get to sing 'You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.' It's such a fun piece."

While he won't wear a full costume for the role, he said he will don a green hat and scarf "to give a little green-ness to the Grinch."

The concert marks the opening of the 2011-2012 Pops Series. It will feature more than 200 chorus members from the Appalachian Children's Chorus, Parkersburg Symphony Chorus and the West Virginia Symphony Chorus. In addition to Stull, 10-year-old soprano Hannah Peterson of Kanawha City will perform.

As part of the performance, audience members will be called upon to sing along to their favorite carols and seasonal songs. A visit by Santa is expected, as well.

Reach Sara Busse at sara.busse@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.


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