By OUR TOWN
After a six-month national search, retired Johnstown attorney and federal executive Mike Walther has been selected as the new executive director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, according to a Jan. 10 announcement by the symphony’s board of trustees.
John Coyle, board president, described Walther as “exactly the kind of dynamic leader we had been hoping to find. His creative energy, business acumen and financial management experience will be a perfect complement to the artistic vision of our new music director, Maestro James Blachly.”
Walther served as director of the National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown from 2007 until it closed in 2012. He has operated a boutique legal practice with offices in Johnstown and New Orleans since his retirement from the Department of Justice.
Walther is also a retired U.S. Army Reserve military judge whose assignments included a deployment to Iraq in 2006 and 2007 on the staff of Gen. David Petraeus, where he served as director of the Law and Order Task Force in Baghdad.
“Michael Walther has, over the past decade or more, proven himself to be a strong leader and respected member of the Johnstown community,” Blachly said. “He is also a military veteran and he is passionate about the role that this orchestra can play in furthering the growth of Johnstown. We are fortunate that he has chosen to dedicate his abundant talent and prodigious energy to the future of our orchestra, and I am excited for what we can accomplish together.”
The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra is midway through its 88th season, with upcoming performances scheduled for March 11, April 1 and May 13.
The concert scheduled March 11 features the music of American composer John Williams, with selections from his work in the blockbuster movies “ET,” “Star Wars,” “Jurassic Park” and “Harry Potter.” An April 1, a “French Brilliance” concert is to feature the music of Debussy, Saint-Saëns and Berlioz. The symphony season concludes on May 13 with two of the most recognizable pieces in classical music, Wagner’s “Overture to Tannhäuser” and Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.”
In addition to its six-concert subscription season, the orchestra is scheduled to perform a Mother’s Day Concert on May 14 in Somerset and a free concert, with fireworks, July 4 at Johnstown’s Point Stadium.
Symphony tickets are available online at www.upjarts.org or by calling 814-269-7200.