The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 3, 2013

'Shared venture' | Symphony, artists meld vocations for concert


JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and Johnstown’s Allied Artists will combine for an evening of culture.

“Music in Pictures,” the fifth concert of the symphony’s 2012-13 subscription series, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center in Richland Township.

Concertgoers will enjoy a program that features Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F Major “Pastoral,” Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Liszt’s “Totentanz” for piano and orchestra.

Maestro Istvan Jaray is anticipating a fun-filled evening celebrating two major art forms.

“To have a venue to fuse the visual arts and the performing arts is a unique opportunity for our community,” he said. “To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time such an undertaking has been forged.”

Jaray welcomes the concept of colors of paintings being supported by the colors of music.

“Beethoven paints a picture in music, but now we have visuals to complement them,” Jaray said. “It will be quite different and promises to be enjoyable for our audience.”

Diane M. Safko, Allied Artist’s president, called the organization’s association with the orchestra for its “Music in Pictures” concert a privilege.

“Our organization was delighted to be asked to participate in this shared venture,” Safko said. “The images included throughout the evening’s performance are original works of art created by the many talented artists belonging to Allied Artists of Johnstown.”

Allied Artists of Johnstown boasts more than 100 members and encourages new membership from around the region and country.

Coordinating the images to the music is no easy task.

Allied Artist member Jim Richey of Westmont is working diligently to get the correct sequence.

While the orchestra is performing, images of paintings and photographs will be projected onto a big screen behind the orchestra.

“People are so accustomed to watching television that a multitude of images are needed to keep peoples’ interest,” Richey said. “We will have nearly 200 pieces that we have gathered from our archives as well as some newer things.”

Richey said he has selected specific images to go with Beethoven’s “Pastoral” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

“For Beethoven, people will see things that reflect nature, the countryside and pastoral scenes showing rural life,” Richey said.

In addition to this partnership, the symphony also will feature pianist Anthony Michael Cornet, winner of its young artist competition.

Cornet, who is originally from Altoona, is a graduate of Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia.

He expressed appreciation for winning the competition and the chance to perform with the symphony.

“The opportunity to work alongside Maestro Jaray and the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra is one I will cherish forever,” Cornet said.

He will perform Liszt’s “Totentanz,” which Jaray described as a challenge, even for the most seasoned artist.

“There is a saying in classical circles that says anyone performing a Liszt composition is either brilliant or crazy,” Jaray said. “This young man is an outstanding artist who possesses a high caliber of talent.”

Brooke Welsh, symphony executive director, said the concert will continue the symphony orchestra’s efforts to reach new audiences.

“By joining hands with Johnstown’s Allied Artists and showcasing the young talent in our area, we are not only reaching new audiences, but also expanding our education and community outreach efforts,” Welsh said.

“I have no doubt that the innovative programming of this concert will appeal to families, students, business and community leaders and all residents of the Johnstown region and beyond.”

Ticket prices for this concert are $10, $25, $30 and $35.

For information about the concert and tickets, call the symphony office at 535-6738. To order tickets, call 269-7200 or visit the symphony’s website at www.johnstown

If you go ...

Who: Johnstown Symphony Orchestra.

What: “Music in Pictures.”

Where: Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Richland Township.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets: Available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the box office or by calling 269-7200, (800) 846-2787 or visit

Cost: $10, $25, $30 and $35.

Information: 535-6738.


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