Tag Archives: Johnstown Symphony Orchestra

Jaray’s final show with symphony set

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra’s final concert of the 2014-2015 subscription season is scheduled to take place May 9 beginning at 7:30 p.m. This concert will be Maestro Istvan Jaray’s last.

Jaray has served as the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra’s music director and conductor for 31 years.

For his last concert, Jaray chose to create a program titled “Made in America,” which will allow the orchestra to perform a unique variety of musical selections by 20th-century American composers Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Aaron Copland.

“In this final concert we will celebrate great American composers and it is a fitting end to a glorious season,” Jaray said. “It gives me great pride that we can call the concert ‘Made in America’ as we, as Americans, have such a deep musical heritage. This concert contains irresistible music. It is music that we love.”

This concert, sponsored in part by Wessel & Co., will be held inside the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Orchestra receives two grants

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra has announced its acceptance of two grants from the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

Community Foundation for the Alleghenies awarded the orchestra $2,000 for the Share the Music Program, an initiative to provide music lessons for piano, violin, trumpet, clarinet, saxophone and drums to Johnstown students. Instructors for Share the Music are professional musicians and members of the symphony orchestra.

This award was made possible through the Benjamin Bosler Foundation.

The next grant, made possible by the Earl and Jeanne Berkey Fund, was also in the amount of $2,000 and will benefit the symphony orchestra’s annual Somerset Mother’s Day Concert. Started in 2001, the concert has been supported by Somerset businesses and local donors. 

This year’s concert is scheduled for May 10 at 2:30 p.m. at Somerset High School.

Grand Halle hosting children’s choruses

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

The children’s choruses of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra are to present their spring concert March 27 beginning at 7 p.m. at The Grand Halle on Broad Street.

Inclined to Sing and The Apprentice Choir, both celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, are directed by Kim Rauch and Andrea Mulligan. They feature young local singers ranging in age from 5 to 15.

Audiences who attend the concert can expect to hear a wide variety of music, including traditional songs, arrangements of American folk tunes, canons, traditional work songs and vocal jazz.

“The sound of the treble children’s choir is very unique and will be especially beautiful in the acoustics of The Grand Halle,” Rauch said.

Previously, the choirs have performed with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, River City Brass and at the 10th anniversary of the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville. They practice weekly at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church.

Doors for the show are to open at 6 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door. Proceeds from the concert support The Steeples Project, the development campaign for three former Roman Catholic church buildings within the cultural district.

The Grand Halle on Broad Street, the former Immaculate Conception church, is located at 306 Broad St., is on the corner of Broad and Third Avenue in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.

Jazz fusion show coming to Pitt-Johnstown

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra will be joined on stage by 18-piece jazz band Jazz in Your Face. Together they will present a live performance titled “Fusion—And All That Jazz.”

The concert is scheduled for March 14 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown campus.

Audiences can expect to hear big-band era music played by both the symphony orchestra and Jazz in Your Face. The groups will perform both individually and collectively throughout the evening.

Songs from jazz legends such as Louie Armstrong, Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington will be performed.

“I am looking forward to an exciting evening of jazz with great anticipation,” Maestro Istvan Jaray said.

“We will finally get to make the ‘fusion’ of the two art forms a reality. I am thrilled that Mr. (Michael) Bodolosky and I can bring this to the PPAC. I am certain our audience will be delighted to hear some of the great compositions from Armstrong to Miller. We are also paying tribute to one of Johnstown’s most talented arrangers, who sadly left us at an early age, Mr. John Morris. It is going to be a concert that is long overdue and should not be missed.”

Jazz in Your Face features local performers and music educators from throughout western Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1999 by Bodolosky, the band strives to keep the sounds of the big band era alive. Members are: Greg Maiocco and Gary Nastase on alto saxophone; Dan Myers and Tim Olson on tenor saxophone; Bruce Scileny on baritone saxophone; Kevin Eisensmith, Josh Hillard, Dave Ferguson, Matt Barabas and Matt Stombaugh on trumpets; Kevin McManus, Paul Walker, Josh Brumbaugh, Scott Smith and Brian Stacey on trombones; Joe Tirpak on guitar; John Pencola on piano; Nick Adams on bass; and Bodolosky on drums. The band’s technical director/audio technician is Thomas Brubaker.

“It’s an honor to play with the (symphony orchestra) and remember the big band era together,” Bodolosky said. “We’re delighted to be able to share with another generation of jazz lovers the wonderful arrangements that John Morris did for the Johnstown Jazz Workshop many years ago. We are also honored to be able to share another special arrangement as a tribute to a trumpet player we shared with the (orchestra), Larry McGiboney.”