NEW PHILADELPHIA — The Tuscarawas Philharmonic has announced its 2018-19 concert season "A Cornucopia," marking its 83rd year as an active arts organization in the Tuscarawas Valley.

Conductor Eric Benjamin explained his inspiration for the upcoming programs, saying, "The symphonic repertoire is a giant storehouse of musical treasures, and the Tuscarawas Philharmonic has explored those archives with its audience in the Tuscarawas Valley. We’ll continue this season, uncovering some of the great hidden gems of the repertoire and creating some new classics along the way."

The orchestra will kick off its season on Oct.13 with a special tribute to the Beatles, featuring guest artists Classical Mystery Tour. The event will honor the 50th anniversary of Kent State University Tuscarawas.

Since its initial performance in 1996, Classical Mystery Tour has become the premier symphony pops attraction. The group has been performing consistently with more than 100 orchestras in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. The group played to packed houses at the Sydney Opera House and has performed with America’s most prestigious orchestras: The Cleveland Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The San Francisco Symphony, among many others.

As a holiday treat, Franc D’Ambrosio will return Dec. 15 for a reprise of his performance of Franc D’Ambrosio’s "Christmas in New York," which will feature the Philharmonic adult and children’s choruses. D’Ambrosio takes the audience on a musical excursion around the Manhattan of his boyhood in a touching and humorous memoir delivered by a master performer.

Then, just in time for Valentine’s Day, the piano virtuoso Avery Gagliano will join the orchestra on Feb. 9, 2019, to perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and the orchestra will continue the romantic theme of the evening with music by Dvorak and Faure in a program titled Suites for the Sweet.

The Tuscarawas Philharmonic Adult Chorus will return on March 9, 2019, for a concert titled Mystical Dreams, welcoming the KSU Tuscarawas University Chorus to perform Ralph Vaughan Williams’ heavenly Five Mystical Songs, along with music by Claude Debussy and others.

The Philharmonic’s April concert has traditionally been one to celebrate area high school musicians, and the Horns A-Plenty performance on April 6, 2019, will be no exception. The High School Honor Band, featuring more than 60 students, will be joined by The Alloy Horn Quartet. The ensemble is a Chicago-based horn quartet that includes Kelly Bayer Langenberg, a Tuscarawas County native.

And finally, the orchestra will revisit its country music side on June 1, 2019, for Symphony Express, a program filled with train-inspired music. As Benjamin said, "Who doesn’t like trains? They have a place in our imagination that is celebrated in song, and for our season finale we’ll indulge in the romance of the rails." This concert will feature fiddler Elizabeth Estes and pianist Richie Travers.

Season and individual tickets can be purchased through the website at www.TuscarawasPhilharmonic.org or by calling the KSU Performing Arts Center box office at 330-308-6400. Prices range from $38 to $26, with senior and student discounts available. Tickets for the special performance of Classical Mystery Tour are slightly higher, ranging form $43 to $31.

The Tuscarawas Philharmonic is a professional orchestra with adult and children’s choruses, and with summer music camps for young musicians. To support these ongoing programs, visit the Philharmonic website at www.TuscarawasPhilharmonic.org, and become a contributing partner.