The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 27, 2014

Symphony's season concludes with tribute to Johnstown residents

JOHNSTOWN — An upcoming concert will feature music focusing on the resilient spirit of the residents of Johnstown.

“The 125th Commemoration of the Johnstown Flood,” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center in Richland Township.

It is the final concert of Johnstown Symphony Orchestra’s subscription season, Great Music for a Great City.

“In this final concert of our 85th season, we continue to honor our community,” said board president Dennis McNair. “As we approach the 125th anniversary of both the great flood of 1889 and the chartering of Johnstown as a city in the commonwealth, we’ll include pieces composed by and performed by Johnstowners and music commissioned and orchestrated specifically for our Johnstown Symphony Orchestra. It’s truly a celebration of Great Music for a Great City.”

The concert will begin with the “Star Spangled Banner” and end with the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” both sung by the Johnstown Symphony Chorus.

Maestro Istvan Jaray, the symphony’s music director and conductor, said this arrangement of the national anthem will be one the Johnstown audience has never heard before.

There will be several selections by Johnstown native Charles W. Cadman, including his “Pennsylvania Symphony” and “My Own Johns-town,” which the chorus will sing.

Compositions written specifically for the orchestra include Richman’s “A Time for Heroes,” Galbraith’s “Fantasy for Orchestra,” Love’s “Johnstown Waltz,” Stult’s “100th Anniversary March” and Saverino’s “Crown American March.”

Chorus director Sam Coco will sing Cuomo’s “Night of the Johnstown Flood,” accompanied by the orchestra.

“Every number is closely related to the city and the orchestra,” Jaray said.

“We are extremely proud to be performing them. I would call this concert the crown of the season. It gives us a chance to pay homage to the city that has been a home to the symphony. It’s our turn to say thank you.”

To reflect on the thousands who have perished in Johnstown’s floods, a short excerpt from Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” will be played.

“In a sense, this is a bittersweet occasion because we remember those who perished in the floods and celebrate the city with the hope of a bright future,” Jaray said. “All in all, my thoughts are very happy. All the pieces fit together into a puzzle, something to truly celebrate the city itself. The older generation will recall a time when the city was a bubbling center of everything. It will bring back memories with laughter and tears. Everyone will go away with a good feeling that the city they live in is a good place to be.”

If you go ...

What: “The 125th Commemoration of the Johnstown Flood,” presented by Johnstown Symphony Orchestra.


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

When: 7:30 pm. Saturday.

Tickets: $32 and $37.

Information: 269-7200 or

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at

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