Tag Archives: Cambria County War Memorial Arena

Circus slated at War Memorial arena

By OUR TOWN

The Garden Bros. Circus is bringing its “all-new, fast-paced, totally exciting show” to Johnstown for two upcoming performances.

Tickets are available online at www.GardenBrosCircus.com for the 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. shows May 1 at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena. The first 100 adult tickets purchased online are to be sold at a discounted rate.

Free admission tickets for children are being distributed at local elementary schools, preschools, day care centers, churches and select businesses in the area.

Tickets are also going to be available for purchase at the War Memorial box office on the day of the event.

The Garden Bros. Circus features motorcycle daredevils, Chinese acrobats, the Human Slingshot, aerialists, cirque artists and clowns, as well as performing elephants, camels, llamas, horses and buffalo.

The circus has performed in North America for more than 100 years, and is produced by the producers of the Ice Capades. More information on the circus and the Johnstown shows is available at the GardenBrosCircus.com website.

Chicago to return for the first time since ‘71

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Classic rock ‘n’ roll band Chicago is returning to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in downtown Johnstown on March 15.

The last time Chicago performed in Johnstown, according to War Memorial Assistant General Manager Karen Gregorchik, was Sept. 7, 1971. She said that she and the War Memorial staff are looking forward to welcoming them back.

“I have heard nothing but great reviews about their prior performance here, so the anticipation of nothing less than an extraordinary performance is definitely the mindset,” Gregorchik said.

“An Evening with Chicago” is scheduled for March 15. Gregorchik said that, as expected, tickets are selling “well and fast.”

“I think the idea of tickets as a Christmas gift for many folks has this show doing exceptionally well for sales during this time of year,” Gregorchik said.

The band features original band members Robert Lamm on keyboards and vocals, Lee Loughnane on trumpet, James Pankow on trombone and Walt Parazaider on woodwinds. The band is rounded out by Jeff Coffrey on bass and vocals, Tris Imboden on drums, Keith Howland on guitar and vocals, Lou Pardini on keyboards and vocals, and Wally Reyes on percussion.

The multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning band is known for hits such as “Make Me Smile,” “Saturday In The Park,” “You’re The Inspiration,” “Hard Habit to Break” and more. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past April.

Chicago is not only known for their music, but also their relentless touring schedule. Chicago is in its 50th consecutive year of touring, and hasn’t missed a single concert date.

As if that fact isn’t impressive enough, the band is also dedicated to raising money for charitable causes. Over the past four years, they’ve raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for the American Cancer Society. They also support Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, which seeks a cure for a fatal children’s disease, Niemann-Pick Type C, and Hannah & Friends, an organization that serves children and adults with special needs.

Tickets for “An Evening with Chicago” are on sale now and can be purchased at the War Memorial Arena box office during regular business hours, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Chicago’s show is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. that evening.

Gregorchik said she thinks there are many classic rock fans in Johnstown who are looking forward to this show.

“A show like this is one for the record books,” she said. “Plus, you do not know how long the band will be touring, so take advantage of the opportunity, especially because it is so close to home.”

Disney princesses skate into Johnstown

BY KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Disney princesses such as Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White are set to embark on inspirational adventures inside the Cambria County War Memorial Arena this month when Feld Entertainment’s “Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big” comes to town Dec. 14-18.

And it will be none other than Tinkerbell, played by Ekaterina “Kate” Larionova, who will be leading the way on what is bound to be a magical and memorable journey for all ages.

Larionova, who grew up in Pervouralsk, Russia, has been performing with Feld Entertainment since 2013. She said she is particularly excited about this show, and for the opportunity to portray a character who “links the stories together and makes the magic possible.”

“This show features nine storylines,” Larionova said. “You’ll meet classic Disney characters like Snow White, as well as modern Disney characters from movies like ‘Frozen.’ 

“This is such a good show for all generations. We have so many cool things going on, including acrobats doing really cool tricks and sing-alongs to many Disney hits. We’re all going to have a great time.”

Larionova began skating when she was 5 years old because her mother wanted her to live a healthy lifestyle. She has been skating for almost 20 years now, and knows for certain that skating is her calling because when she took some time off from her sport, she realized how unhappy she was.

“I didn’t feel accomplished, so that’s why I returned to skating,” Larionova said. “For a little while, I even worked as a reporter, but that’s when I realized I couldn’t live without skating.”

In addition to skating, Larionova enjoys aerial gymnastics, swimming, reading and spending time with her family.

She also enjoys traveling. Larionova has travelled all over the world with her fellow performers. This “Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big” tour will bring Larionova back to Johnstown for a third time. The last time she was in Johnstown, she “ran into five deer.”

As a performer, Larionova usually has the opportunity to sightsee and enjoy what each city she visits has to offer.

“I love taking pictures,” she said. “My husband is a photographer, so we try to get out and see as much as we can.”

When she’s not on the ice playing Tinkerbell, Larionova spends a lot of time working out so that she can stay in shape.

If Larionova’s learned anything about her character during this tour, it’s that “people across America love Tinkerbell.”

“It is priceless to see people’s faces light up with joy,” she said. “Every performance is different, and every time I think how it’s so much fun to get out there and bring the Disney magic to life. I’m so blessed to be able to do this job.”

Larionova knows a thing or two about “dreaming big,” and she said that playing Tinkerbell is basically a dream come true for her.

“Just recently, my sister sent me a picture of me when I was 4 years old,” Larionova said. “I was wearing a cute little dress with Ariel on it. So, growing up, I watched Disney movies all the time, but I never thought I’d play a live Disney princess on ice. 

“I come from a small town in Russia, and my family is so proud of me in terms of how far I’ve gotten in my career.”

Larionova plans to continue performing as part of Feld Entertainment because she enjoys touring, skating and inspiring a new generation of Disney fans to follow their dreams, too.

“This show is about dreaming big, and I think that it inspires people to accomplish anything that they set their minds to,” she said.

In “Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big,” audiences will “make a splash” with Ariel; watch Rapunzel, Cinderella and Belle learn to use and appreciate their magical powers and travel with Anna, Elsa and Olaf to the land of Arendelle, where they realize that true love is the greatest magic of all. 

Meanwhile, characters such as Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora and Tiana can remind audiences that strength and kindness go hand-in-hand.

Kenneth Feld, who serves as producer of the show, said that when he and his staff were working on putting the show together, they reflected on “what makes Disney’s leading ladies so unique.”

“Having three daughters, it didn’t take long to realize that every princess had one thing in common: Each one had a dream and the determination to make it a reality,” Feld said. “We wanted to share that inspirational message with our audiences by celebrating the stories of these courageous young women and the friends that helped them along the way.”

The sets, lighting, choreography and other elements of the show are combined to make audience members young and old feel inspired upon leaving the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

In addition to performers such as Larionova, “Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big” is being made possible by Feld and his team of professionals, including director Patty Vincent, creative director Jerry Bilik, costume designer Ilona Somogyi, choreographer Cindy Stuart, set designer Robert Little and lighting designer Peter Morse, among others.

Performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are to begin at 7 p.m. On Saturday, performances are to be held at 1 p.m. and again at 5 p.m. On Sunday, performances are scheduled for noon and 4 p.m.

Tickets for “Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big” are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena during regular business hours, which are Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The box office is also open on Saturdays during event days from noon until show time.

Cambria County Way Memorial Arena is located at 326 Napoleon St. in Johnstown.

For more information about “Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big,” visit www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce or https://www.feldentertainment.com/Shows/DisneyOnIce.
Karen Gregorchik, War Memorial assistant general manager, said she hopes that ticket-holders enjoy the show.

“Disney on Ice brings the kid out in all of us,” Gregorchik said. “It is great to see all generations come to this event, as everyone from young to old come out to see and enjoy watching their favorite Disney characters dance to great musical favorites on ice.”

War Memorial to host Mannheim Steamroller show

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Just like Santa Claus, “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” is coming to town.

“Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” is to be presented at Cambria County War Memorial Arena in downtown Johnstown on Dec. 2. Doors are to open at 7 p.m., and the show is set to begin at 8 p.m.

“This is going to be an amazing show in that it makes the holiday come alive through the joy of music,” said Karen Gregorchik, the arena’s assistant general manager. “The crowd is going to be blown away by the sound and lights of this wonderful holiday showcase of musical talent.”

Created and founded by Chip Davis, Mannheim Steamroller has been creating innovative, new-age music for audiences of all ages since 1984. Davis has become the No. 1 best-selling Christmas music artist of all time.

The Grammy Award winner directs and co-produces the “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” tour alongside MagicSpace Entertainment. This year marks Mannheim Steamroller’s 32nd anniversary of this holiday-inspired tour, which has become one of the longest running annual tours in music history.

The last time Mannheim Steamroller performed in Johnstown was in 2009, Gregorchik said.

“That show was very well received,” she said, “so we could not pass on the opportunity to offer this great event to the community again for the holiday season.”

Mannheim Steamroller has sold more than 40 million albums, including 28 million within the Christmas genre. Their Christmas albums include 1984’s “Christmas,” 2001’s “Christmas Extraordinaire” and 2014’s “30/40.”

Mannheim Steamroller’s performance in Johnstown is scheduled to fill the Cambria County War Memorial Arena with Christmas classics, as well as songs from Davis’s popular “Fresh Aire” series. Multimedia effects are also to be part of the show.

For more information about Mannheim Steamroller, visit their official website at www.mannheimsteamroller.com.

Tickets for “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena box office during regular business hours, which are Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The box office is also open on Saturdays during event days from noon until show time.

Cambria County War Memorial Arena is located at 326 Napoleon St. in Johnstown. It is also a drop site for Toys for Tots this year. Anyone interested in donating a toy is welcome to do so.

Gregorchik said she hopes that ticket-holders enjoy the show.

“This is definitely a great family show for all ages to enjoy and will be the highlight of the holiday season,” she said. “The classic holiday music we all decorate and shop to during this busy season will resonate throughout the arena, which will be an uplifting sound to all.”

Watermelon-smashing comedian coming to town

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Gallagher’s “Joke’s on You Comedy Tour” is coming to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Nov. 19.

The show, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. that evening, stars Gallagher, Artie Fletcher and Bob Nelson.

“Gallagher is best known for his smashing of watermelon in front of his audiences,” said Karen Gregorchik, Cambria County War Memorial assistant general manager. “All three together will make for a grand night of comic relief.”

Gregorchik said that she and her staff decided to bring this show to Johnstown in order to cater to people who enjoy live comedy shows.

“We have not had a comedian here for a while, and we do what we can to bring our audiences various forms of entertainment — everything from concerts to ice shows to sports,” Gregorchik said. “Plus, this is the time of the year before the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and it’s a great time to take time out and enjoy a few good laughs.”

Gregorchik added that she has high expectations for Gallagher, Fletcher and Nelson.

“There will be interaction between the comic act and the audience, which is especially fun to see and experience,” she said. “This is a one-of-a-kind comedy tour that all will enjoy. It will make for a great Saturday night out.”

Tickets for “Joke’s on You Comedy Tour” are on sale and can be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena during regular business hours, which are Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The box office is also open on Saturdays during event days from noon until show time.

Cambria County Way Memorial Arena is located at 326 Napoleon St. in Johnstown. 

For more information about Gallagher and the tour, visit www.gallaghersmash.com.

Gallagher coming to the War Memorial

By OUR TOWN

Tickets are on sale for Gallagher’s “Joke’s On You Comedy Tour,” starring the watermelon-smashing Gallagher along with comedic colleagues Artie Fletcher and Bob Nelson.

The interactive comedy show is scheduled for 8 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown.

For almost 15 years, Gallagher was the No. 1 comedian in ticket sales and ratings, according to the tour’s official website. He has also performed at 3,500 live shows, and starred in 14 standup comedy specials on Showtime.

Fletcher is considered one of the entertainment industry’s most talked-about “must-see” performers. He has performed in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Radio City Music Hall and other comedy hotspots, and has opened for entertainers such as Joan Rivers, Regis Philbin, Howie Mandell and Tony Bennett. 

A contemporary of Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, Nelson has performed live at hundreds of comedy clubs, colleges and other live venues, including Las Vegas, Radio City Music Hall and on Broadway. He was the opening act for eight of the most popular years of Rodney Dangerfield’s career, and was also prominently featured in two of Dangerfield’s popular HBO standup comedy showcases. That work led to headlining two of his own HBO specials, including the classic “Nelson Schmelson.”

For more information on the “Joke’s On You Comedy Tour,” visit www.joycomedytour.com.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and the War Memorial box office, and can also be obtained by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Arena to host ‘The Price is Right Live!’

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

This fall, community members will have a chance to “come on down!”

“The Price is Right Live!” is coming to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Oct. 15 beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets for the show are on sale now.

This is the first time that the touring show will make a stop in Johnstown, said Karen Gregorchik, War Memorial assistant general manager.

“We are very excited to have this tour stop in Johnstown (for this) one-day event,” Gregorchik said. “It is realistic to think your Johnstown neighbor could be called to ‘come on down!’ and win. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for a lot of folks in our area.”

“The Price is Right” TV show originated in 1956, but grew in popularity when Bob Barker began hosting it in 1972. Comedian and actor Drew Carey has been serving as host since 2007. 

Though Carey isn’t participating in the tour, another likeable host will be assigned by the show promoter.

The interactive game show invites audience members to estimate the retail value of certain items. The contestant who comes the closest to the actual price is invited onstage and given the opportunity to play an array of games, such as “Plinko” and “Cliffhangers.” Contestants have an opportunity to win appliances, vacations and new cars.

Those who make it on stage will also have the opportunity to spin “The Big Wheel,” and the two contestants who come closest to $1 will have the chance to win the show’s biggest prizes of all.

“The ‘Wheel’ and other popular games played and seen on TV will be here at the War Memorial for this event,” Gregorchik said. “Why go to the trouble and expense to go see ‘The Price is Right’ in California (when) we are bringing it to everyone live here at the War Memorial Arena in Johnstown?”

“The Price Is Right Live!” brings the show that fans watch on TV straight to their hometowns. Playing to nearly sold-out audiences for almost a decade, “The Price Is Right Live!” has given away more than $10 million dollars in cash and prizes.

Those who would like to be eligible to become a contestant in the game show at War Memorial Arena must be a legal resident of the United States and Canada (excluding Puerto Rico and Quebec), and 18 years or older. To register, interested parties must visit the registration area at or near the venue box office three hours prior to show time and must provide their first and last name, as well as date of birth to producers via registration cards.

There is no ticket purchase required to register to be a contestant. Registration closes precisely at the scheduled showtime. For complete rules and regulations, including eligibility requirements, visit or call the box office. A general admission ticket purchase will not increase the chances of being selected to play.

Tickets for “The Price is Right Live!” can be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena during regular business hours, which are Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The box office is also open on Saturdays during event days from noon until show time.

Cambria County Way Memorial Arena is located at 326 Napoleon St. in Johnstown.

“The Price Is Right” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and licensed by FremantleMedia. “The Price Is Right Live!” is sponsored by Good Games Live.

“This event is selling out across the U.S.,” Gregorchik said, “and we do not want anyone to miss their chance to ‘come on down!’”

Band director recalls students’ night with Foreigner

Submitted photo These Cambria Heights High School students sang back-up vocals for Foreigner on March 16.
Submitted photo
These Cambria Heights High School students sang back-up vocals for Foreigner on March 16.

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Twenty-five Cambria Heights High School students had the opportunity of a lifetime March 16 when they joined legendary classic rock band Foreigner on stage at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown.

The students sang back-up vocals during the performance of Foreigner’s 1984 chart-topping hit, “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

Meanwhile, their music director, Michael Kokus, stood backstage feeling like a proud parent.

“It was a great moment,” Kokus said. “I’m so invested in those kids, and it was almost like I was living vicariously through them.”

When the song concluded, lead singer Kelly Hansen said: “Come on, people, make some noise for this beautiful choir that’s with us tonight. They are the Vocal X Cambria Heights High School choir from Patton, Pennsylvania. Come on; give it to ‘em; make some noise.”

Hansen encouraged choir members to “raise their hands up” as the thousands of Foreigner fans in the arena that evening shouted and applauded.

Before the students walked off stage, Hansen told the crowd to take a good look at them.

“I want you to see how beautiful your future looks,” he said. “That’s it right there, everybody.”

For the past few years, Foreigner has partnered with the Grammy Foundation to fund high school music programs across the country. The band is concerned that music is being removed from school curriculums. So, their tour stops usually involve working with local radio stations to host a contest among high school choirs to — you guessed it — sing “I Want to Know What Love Is” live on stage.

“I applaud Foreigner for their efforts to lead the charge and say, ‘Music is something that matters,’” Kokus said. 

“Music is for every child. Musical talent exists on a spectrum just like mathematical talent and talent for the English language. Music is not a dispensable part of a child’s education.”

A few weeks prior to the concert, Kokus’ co-workers at Cambria Heights told him about the contest that Foreigner was bringing to Johnstown, and he couldn’t pass up the chance to get his students involved. He went online, found an arrangement for the band’s hit “Cold as Ice” and then sent his students home with an assignment that Friday afternoon: return to school on Monday having learned and practiced the music.

“I basically said, ‘Listen, here’s what the contest is about. Here’s the music. You guys are going to show me how great your work ethic is this weekend, and then we’re going to be in good shape.’”

The ninth- through 12th-graders involved in the contest represented Cambria Heights’ acapella group, Vocal X, as well as the school’s rock band, Synergy.
Kokus was pleased to find that they returned to school prepared to record the audio for the contest.

In addition to Cambria Heights, five local school districts participated in the contest made possible by Forever Broadcasting: Conemaugh Township High School, Dubois Central Catholic High School, Greater Johnstown High School, Westmont High School and Windber High School.

Public voting took place online March 5-9, and Kokus and his students were informed that they won the morning of March 10.

“There was lots of shouting when they heard they won,” Kokus said with a laugh. “They were just thrilled about it, and very pumped.”

Also “pumped”: the students’ parents.

“Classic rock is a big deal in this area,” Kokus said. “At times I couldn’t tell who was more excited, my students or their parents.”

After Kokus received confirmation that his choir had won, he received a call from Foreigner’s manager.

“He explained how everything was going to play out,” Kokus said. “While it wasn’t very difficult musically to execute, the stress of it was that there wasn’t going to be a practice with the band, so it had to be right the first time.”

And right the first time it was.

“It couldn’t have gone better,” Kokus said of his students’ performance. “They did their thing. They did everything without a hitch.”

Kokus mentioned that he was humbled by the support that he and his students received from school administrators.

“We had some administrators go (to the concert) with us, and it was really touching to see that level of professional respect that they gave to us,” he said. “That was pretty big. I appreciated that very much.”

Kokus said that he’s proud to say that the music program at Cambria Heights is indeed well-supported.

“We have exceptional support,” he said. “The administrative and community support that we have is tremendous.”

Hansen and his fellow bandmates didn’t just invite the choir on stage to sing a song and then send them on their way; in addition to performing, Foreigner tasked the choir to sell Foreigner CDs and raffle tickets as possible that evening.

“The kids broke off into groups of five and with a chaperone’s help, they sold as many Foreigner CDs as they could,” Kokus said. “They even sold tickets to raffle off a signed guitar at the end of the show. In exchange for our time and efforts, we received $500 to sustain our music program.”

Kokus plans to use the donation to specifically assist the 25 students who were involved in the performance.

“Maybe we will use it to purchase new musical equipment or for transportation to a show,” he said.

In Kokus’ 11 years spent working for Cambria Heights, he said he has never had an opportunity quite like the one he was granted, courtesy of Foreigner.

“This was pretty unique,” he said. “The nature of the (music) business doesn’t involve bands sticking around long enough to do this sort of philanthropic work. If members of the band were reading this article, I would say thank you for leading the charge to keep music in schools and humbling yourselves by inviting high school students to the stage with you.

“We have to think about the next generation of music, and these kids need to be inspired. Foreigner is in the right place to inspire kids, and they’re not taking that position for granted. Every student benefits from music and for some, it’s a completely integral part of their high school experience.”
He thanked the school and community for the ongoing support.

“I just want to thank the Cambria Heights community, school district and administration for the support,” he said. “We have so many people in our area who realize that music matters.”

The experience meant a lot not only to Kokus, but also to his students.

“They thanked me for giving them the opportunity,” he said, “because that was an opportunity to expose my kids to a perspective I couldn’t have created for them in a classroom environment. And they’re still talking about the concert, still wearing their Foreigner T-shirts to school.”

Hockey game to feature play during intermission

Submitted photos Three of the performers for the “Pucks and Pirouettes” show at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena. Kneeling is Rachael Morgart; the hockey player is Boston Bradley and the dancer is Emily Stewart. 
Submitted photos
Three of the performers for the “Pucks and Pirouettes” show at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena. Kneeling is Rachael Morgart; the hockey player is Boston Bradley and the dancer is Emily Stewart. 

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Members of the Johnstown Concert Ballet will perform alongside youth hockey players representing Cambria County Student Hockey League in a short performance titled “Pucks and Pirouettes” during the second intermission of the Johnstown Tomahawks hockey game at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena on March 18.

“Pucks and Pirouettes” is a love story that begins at a hockey game, and it is serving as a “teaser” to the full-scale performance that the Johnstown Concert Ballet will present at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on April 16.

Carla Prucnal, artistic director of the Johnstown Concert Ballet, said she was inspired to create a hockey-themed ballet after noticing the excitement that the Hockeyville competition garnered late last year. She was also smitten by the love story of a local couple.

It helped, too, that Prucnal has always been a hockey fan.

“When I was a child, my father would take me to the Johnstown Jets hockey games, and even when there was no room, I’d end up sitting on his lap,” Prucnal said. “My father was very devoted — he and his friends went and sat in the same section every time. It was a time when hockey games weren’t on TV, and the only way you got to see them was to attend in person at the War Memorial.”

Prucnal’s ballet career has allowed her the opportunity to not only work with ballerinas, but also wrestlers and football, basketball and hockey players.

“I’ve worked with many athletes in the area because their coaches recognized that ballet would make them supple and help them maneuver better,” Prucnal said. “The strength that is needed in sports is very obvious in dancers.”

Prucnal said that she’s excited for the opportunity to work in conjunction with the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

“To my knowledge — and I’ve lived in Johnstown all my life — I’ve never heard of a ballet based on hockey, or a ballet being performed during a hockey game in Johnstown,” she said. “It’s going to be really exciting. (The audience is) going to see some interesting moves.”

Performers in “Pucks and Pirouettes” include: Emily Stewart, Taylor George, Tristin Kresak, Abigail Rose, Taelur Vargo, Ashley Jechonek, Lauren Anderson, Alexandra Barnhart, Meghana Gella, Penelope Lee, Morgan Lybarger, Racheal Morgart, Isabella Panebianco, Boston Bradley, Cole Bradley, Chris Miller and Will Miller.

Though their performance won’t last more than 10 minutes, Prucnal said that that’s what teasers are all about.

“We’re taking excerpts from the dances that we’ll be performing in the spring ballet,” she said. “It gives you a little bit of the story and makes you want to see the whole production.”

The “whole production” to which Prucnal was referring is scheduled for April 16 beginning at 2 p.m. at the arts center, which is located on the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown campus. Tickets for the ballet are now on sale at the box office by calling 814-269-7200, and they will also be available at the door. Tickets are not for sale online.

For more information about the Johnstown Concert Ballet, visit www.johnstownballet.homestead.com.

“Pucks and Pirouettes” is being made possible by a grant from the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance.

Foreigner coming to Johnstown

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

There are no “Head Games” being played here: Classic rock band Foreigner really is coming to Johnstown’s Cambria County War Memorial Arena on March 16.

“The call volume has been tremendous and we’re very excited,” said War Memorial Arena Assistant General Manager Karen Gregorchik. “We’re anticipating a well-attended (show), if not a sellout show.”

Foreigner is perhaps best known for their hits such as “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice,” “Double Vision,” “Juke Box Hero,” “Hot Blooded” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Altogether, Foreigner claimed 16 Top 30 hits throughout their career.

“I think people will enjoy hearing Foreigner’s popular anthems,” Gregorchik said. “These are songs that people grew up with. These are songs that people know and will be singing along to.”

Founded in 1976, the band has 10 multi-platinum albums to its name.

Foreigner consists of founder and lead guitarist Mick Jones, lead vocalist Kelly Hansen, bass guitarist Jeff Pilson and multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel.

Foreigner’s new lineup came together around 2002, when Hansen joined the band and replaced original singer Lou Gramm. Since that time, Foreigner has released a live greatest hits album, an LP titled “Can’t Slow Down” and a three-disc set titled “Feels Like the First Time.” 

“Juke Box Heroes,” a compilation of digitally recorded Foreigner hits, enjoyed success within the Billboard Top 200 chart alongside another compilation album, “The Soundtrack of Summer.” The latter was released in conjunction with the band’s 2014 U.S. amphitheater tour.

Foreigner’s latest release is titled “The Best Of Foreigner 4 & More.” The high-definition live show was recorded live at Borgata in Atlantic City in October of 2014. A year earlier, in June of 2013, Jones was inducted to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

Last year, Foreigner toured with Kid Rock. Their tour sold more tickets than any other Live Nation summer amphitheater tour.

Over the years, Foreigner’s music has appeared in major motion pictures, including “Rock of Ages,” “Anchorman 2,” “Magic Mike” and “Pitch Perfect.”

Tickets to see Foreigner in Johnstown are on sale and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena box office during regular business hours, which have been extended. The new hours are Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

The box office is also open on Saturdays during event days from noon until show time.

“We encourage people to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster if they don’t want to wait in line at the box office,” Gregorchik said.

“We can’t wait to bring Foreigner to Johnstown.”

ZZ Top returning to the War Memorial

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Legendary rock band ZZ Top is coming to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Oct. 3.

“This will be the third year in a row we’ve tried to bring ZZ Top to Johnstown,” War Memorial General Manager Tom Grenell said. “The stars did not align, but the third time is a charm and we could not be happier to have them as our guests in Johnstown.”

Grenell said that ZZ Top performed at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena once before, but it was a long time ago: 1975. 

To make ZZ Top’s return to Johnstown as memorable as possible, for not only the band but also the audience, Grenell said that the stage setup will make the arena feel like a theater or large club.

“What we decided to do was almost mimic the Brit Floyd stage setup, to turn it into a very intimate night with ZZ Top,” he said. “ZZ Top is going to blow the doors off the place with that setup.”

ZZ Top formed in Texas in 1969 and released their debut album two years later. Some of ZZ Top’s hits include “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Cheap Sunglasses,” “Legs” and “Tush.” The band has sold more than 50 million albums to date. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

ZZ Top features Billy Gibbons on guitar and vocals, Dusty Hill on bass and vocals, and Frank Beard on drums. Gibbons and Hill are well known not only for their musical talent, but also their lengthy trademark beards.

ZZ Top’s show in Johnstown is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Doors are to open an hour earlier. Grenell encouraged people to purchase tickets sooner rather than later.

“Tickets are going quickly,” he said. “Even though there’s not going to be a bad seat in the house, you want to have a seat in the house. I would not wait until October to buy tickets. They’re moving pretty good and that speaks to ZZ Top’s star power.

“I look for it to be a spectacular show, and this is going to be a really neat year if we get the shows that we’re aggressively going after. As long as we keep bringing different entertainment offerings that are interesting to tourists and locals, we’re doing what we’re setting out to do, which is to keep bringing people to the Johnstown area. We’re just trying to put a year together that is really diverse and laden with talent that people are going to want to see.”