- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra says conductor Grant Cooper has announced plans to retire.

Cooper made the announcement at Saturday’s season-opening concert. This is Cooper’s 15th year as conductor.

He won’t be leaving right away. To ensure a smooth transition, he is staying on as artistic director and will conduct the entire season. He will conduct all pops, education and touring programs during the 2016-17 season, when six guest conductors will be invited to lead the symphony during the classical subscription concerts.

After a new conductor is chosen, Cooper will serve as artistic adviser and will conduct on a limited basis, as needed.

Cindy McGhee, orchestra board member and chair of the search committee, said the panel will spend the next few months reviewing resumes and evaluating videos and recordings.

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