Wheeling Symphony Concertmaster Rachel Stegeman plays one of the Violins of Hope. Several string instruments originally owned and played by prisoners of Holocaust concentration camps will be featured at a Wheeling Symphony concert.

In Friday’s (10/13) Intelligencer (West Virginia), Shelley Hanson writes, “Several violins and other stringed instruments originally played and owned by prisoners of Holocaust concentration camps will be used during a special Wheeling Symphony Orchestra concert next week. ‘Violins of Hope’ is slated for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling. The violins are on loan from the national organization, Violins of Hope, that has restored the instruments…. ‘This concert has been planned for two years,’ said WSO Conductor and Music Director John Devlin, ‘but with the events of the Middle East in the last seven days it takes on an added dimension …. Violins of Hope … has rescued and restored violins used by Jewish artists during the Holocaust in and around concentration camps…. Members of the strings section of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra will be playing them.’… WSO Concertmaster Rachel Stegeman, who played a short piece on one of the Violins of Hope … said the instruments will help tell the story of … the people who once owned them. Playing the violins and other instruments likely gave some hope and helped them cope with the atrocities happening around them in the camps.”