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Musicians mentoring musicians

By Staff | Jul 8, 2016

Music fans will want to partake in a rhythmic feast Saturday night at 8 p.m. at the Shepherdstown Opera House for another installment of the popular Young Artist Series.

Vocalists and musicians will pay tribute to recently deceased music legends, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Merle Haggard and Prince, as well as performing other popular favorites and original pieces.

The Young Artist Series was started three years ago by Domenic Valentine, Shepherdstown resident and professional musician, who has an interest in helping aspiring artists get the professional guidance they need to pursue a career in music. Emerging artists get to work with seasoned performers to hone and polish their craft.

Valentine has worked with national acts such as, Paul Pfau, Christian Lopez and Chelsea McBee. In fact, the first Young Artist showcase was the first time Lopez and McBee played together on stage.

Valentine said, “This series features young people interested in professional and semi-professional music careers, and helps them get experience.”

Jenn Biebel, local resident and member of the West Virginia University marching band will be playing trumpet Saturday evening at the showcase.

“Our group will be playing jazz instrumental arrangements put together by a band called, ‘Lucky Chops,'” said Biebel. “We’ll be doing a cover of ‘Hello’ by Adele, ‘Stand by Me’ and ‘I’ll fly Away.'”

Biebel has been playing trumpet since fifth grade, is thrilled to be able to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coming up in November. She was part of the first Young Artists Series.

“I’ve known the Valentines for a long time and Domenic had heard me play trumpet before, so he asked if I’d be interested in being part of the series,” said Biebel. “I really love it. The people are great to work with-rehearsals are fun, but the best part is being on stage when the crowd is getting into it. That is so rewarding.”

Valentine is committed to helping aspiring artists any way he can. In January, the Young Artist Series became a non-profit and he is currently applying for grants to further help musicians.

“The music industry is very different now,” said Valentine. “It’s like you’re starting a small business. We want to be an all-inclusive resource. We want to teach aspiring musicians all about PR, marketing, web development, performing, etc. Everything we do is experiential based. We teach them in a real-life setting. We’re hoping to expand to be able to do more workshops.”

Valentine’s daughter, singer-songwriter, Lucia Valentine will also be performing at Saturday’s show.

Lucia is no stranger to the limelight as her career is starting to rise with the release of a new EP and video. Lucia has been singing and writing songs since a young age and is a well-known name locally, but thanks to modern music venues, she is also getting recognition world-wide.

“Support in the local community has been amazing,” said Lucia. “I’ve been a part of this community for a long time and have met so many wonderful people. It’s also really neat to know that my song has had 60 downloads in Vietnam, and downloads in other places in the world that I haven’t been to yet.”

Lucia is currently a music major at Shepherd and doesn’t know what her future holds exactly, but she knows that she’d like to make a living singing and writing songs.

“One of my favorite parts (about the music business) is traveling, meeting and connecting with people, and of course, singing. If I can do that, I’ll be happy.”

Domenic’s goal is to have seven Young Artist Series per year.

“Our goal is provide the community with high-quality entertainment, while at the same time, getting training and experience for our musicians.”

Performances are usually at the Shepherdstown Opera House, located at 131 W. German Street, but there have also been performances at other venues like the Earth Day celebration and United Way fundraisers.

Doors open at 7:30 Saturday, with the performance beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6 for public, $5 for students and can be purchased online at www.operahouselive.com or at the door.

To download Lucia Valentine’s latest song, visit www.luciavalentine.com.