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March 2, 2014

Noon recital series will feature local musicians

JOHNSTOWN — The March series of Tuesday noon recitals will welcome spring to downtown Johnstown.

The Rev. Robert Wagner, pastor of Moxham Lutheran Church, will open the series at noon Tuesday at First Lutheran Church, 415 Vine St.

Wagner, a baritone, will be accompanied by pianist Michele DiGuardi as he sings “Spirituals and Other Songs of Life.”

Wagner studied voice and trumpet at Ithaca College, then served as an Army bandsman from 1982 to 1988.  

Wagner is the bugler for the ritual team at Post 155, Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he is a life member.

He was ordained in 1992 and has served three churches.      

Wagner also directs the choir at Moxham Lutheran.

“The series began as a cultural opportunity for people working in downtown Johnstown, but it also serves residents of nearby high-rise apartments who have little or no other opportunity to attend live performances,” said George Fattman, a member of the recital task force. “Artists remark about the diversity of our audience.”

The Greater Johnstown High School Jazz Band will perform March 11.

The jazz band is one of four music ensembles offered daily at Greater Johnstown.

It performs classic jazz, modern jazz and newer popular music.

Some members have auditioned for and participated in district jazz festivals sponsored by the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.

The jazz band has performed at varsity basketball games as a pep band.

Most of its members are active in other music ensembles and various other extracurricular activities.

Adam Bukosky, who is in his fourth year of teaching at Greater Johnstown, will conduct the 11 members of the jazz band.

He conducts the chorale, concert band and orchestra in addition to the jazz band and teaches advanced placement music theory and introduction to music.

Bukosky also is the music director and producer for the school’s spring musical.

Laura Williamson will perform on piano March 18.

She also teaches piano privately and is on the part-time music faculty of Pitt-Johnstown, Richland Township.

She is a specialist in piano pedagogy, which is the science and art of education, specifically instructional theory.

Benjamin Bugaile will perform on organ March 25.  

He is studying organ on a Carol Teti Scholarship at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

A complimentary light lunch will follow each recital at 12:30 p.m.

The recital series, which is held in March, June and October, has received another grant from the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance, which serves artists in this region as an arm of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

The series also is supported by the Carolyn Walker Music Fund and individual contributions.


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

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Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
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