The Advocate

Symphony offers free ‘phenomenal’ concerts

Callie Burgan, Contributing Writer

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The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra is to participate in a second year of free student tickets. 

On concert days, students can show up with their student IDs to gain entrance if the show has not sold out.

Their opening night was Oct. 20. Junior Muneer Al Busaidi said that he would describe the event at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center as phenomenal. 

“The harmony between the musicians and maestro was excellent. Most importantly, the precision and speed soloist. Basically, his entire performance.”

Maestro James Blachly said he was thrilled to be bringing more attention from the public eye to the orchestra. 

He said he wants to make it known that, although there is a stigma labeling classical music as uptight or difficult to understand, his ultimate mission in life is to make the symphony inviting and accessible to the community.

“The goal of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra is to immerse the city with the culture that music brings. 

“As a student, I attended hundreds of performances, so I understand what it is like to be living on a budget and still wanting to hear the symphony.”

The next concert performance is to take place Nov. 10. He said the concert  is to depict the story of Don Quixote with a few twists.

“From the listener experiencing the feeling of being underwater to exploring the deepest caves of Scotland, this performance will be a stunning mixture of cinematics and music.”

Blachy said that there are 72 musicians in the symphony, from Pittsburgh, Ohio, Penn State and West Virginia. 

Some musicians travel up to two hours to perform with the group.

“Our chorus has also experienced remarkable growth. Within the past year, we have increased from 55 to 125 singers. 

“It is my hope that the future will bring an even greater interest within the musical arts.”

In December, the symphony is to perform a rendition of “Handel’s Messiah.” More information is to be released as the date approaches.

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The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown's student newspaper
Symphony offers free ‘phenomenal’ concerts