The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 26, 2013

Symphony performs free concerts for students

JOHNSTOWN — Yellow school buses were lined up outside Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center in Richland Township on Tuesday morning, delivering fifth-graders from various school districts to a free Young People’s Concert performed by Johnstown Symphony Orchestra.

Inside the arts center, the noise level grew and seats filled to a full house as students prepared to hear the symphony orchestra, many for the first time.

“It’s an absolute delight we can reach so many schools,” said the symphony’s conductor, Maestro Istvan Jaray. “This is an important event in the life of the orchestra. I wish we could do it more.

“Arts enhance the spirit of young people. To deprive them of it is sad, so I think we should jump in and do it.”

The concert began with a rousing rendition of the “William Tell Overture,” which Jaray told his young audience was their way of saying hello.

“I’m having fun,” Jaray said. “I love to give children my joy with music. This is an opportunity to present the orchestra in a new light with no preconceived ideas.”

“It’s not dull, long-haired music. It shows the colors of the symphony. They need to realize it’s not something to dread, but to enjoy.”

Next came “The Thrill of the Orchestra,” narrated in rhyme by arts center executive director Michael Bodolosky.

The piece explained each section and instrument of the orchestra and how the conductor brought them all together.

As each instrument was mentioned, symphony members showed the youngsters where they were located and how their instruments simply could make noise or more magical music with practice.

Bodolosky went through the percussion, brass, woodwind and string sections, then had each section play its part in a song until the entire orchestra was playing.

His narration urged his audience to feel the thrill of music through the color of the orchestra.

“Why play in an orchestra? For the thrill music can provide. It can give you warmth, a chill or take you for a ride.”

Jaray then explained how music written without words is usually called a symphony and led the orchestra in a fast dance by the French composer Bizet.

A newer composition by a woman composer was next, and Jaray told his audience he hoped that if they composed something they would send it to him.

Another dance, “Hoedown,” came from American composer Aaron Copeland, and the composition “Waltzing Cat” showed the audience how a composer can describe felines and dogs in musical terms.

It was time for audience participation when the song “Pop Goes the Weasel” came up.

Jaray requested the youngsters shout “Pop Goes the Weasel” when he pointed to them, then asked if anyone would like to conduct the orchestra for that song.

Hands eagerly raised and waved, but Jaray announced he had one name written on a piece of paper.

Maeve Milligan of Westmont was asked to come forward and lead the orchestra.

After a brief demonstration on keeping time from Jaray, Maeve was conducting and the audience was shouting when Jaray pointed to them.

Jaray thought of the idea several years ago and thought it would be fun for the children.

“It’s good for them to see one of their own on stage,” Jaray said. “It’s a lifetime experience. This is a break for them. We try to make it as palatable as possible and keep the pieces short.”

For her efforts, Maeve received a conductor’s kit, which included a baton.

After the concert, Maeve said she had no idea she would be chosen to conduct.

“When I heard my name, I thought ‘What? What’s happening?’ I was very nervous,” Maeve said. “I never thought of conducting until now.”

Maeve started playing violin in third grade, flute in fifth and baritone horn in sixth and performs with her school’s orchestra and band.

“I loved it when they explained the instruments,” she said.

“I got to hear each one. I was at a Christmas concert, but this was my first time at this concert. It was most enjoyable.”

The concert ended with a “Star Wars Medley,” eliciting some light saber action from the audience.

As students filed out to their buses according to school district, volunteers prepared to do it all over again for a second concert.

“We had 10 schools for this concert and will have 10 more for the next one,” said Doris Lapinski, administrative assistant for the symphony. “They’re all fifth-graders except for Westmont, which is sixth. Because of funding cuts, they couldn’t come last year, so we had those who would have been in fifth grade last year. They are the exception.”

 

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • fire_23 Investigators seek cause of West End fire

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday at a vacant structure in the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not been determined, according to city fire officials.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland seeks loan for roof, HVAC work

    Richland Township’s plans to replace the municipal building’s roof and heating and air conditioning system will cost nearly $600,000, Solicitor Gary Costlow said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Undocumented children already arriving in state

    An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border is spilling over into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Auditor cites flaws in gas drilling regulation

    Strained by limited resources and the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, environmental regulators have failed to adequately monitor well safety or to provide clear and timely information to citizens, the state auditor general said Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Driver in fatal DUI crash will serve jail time

    A Vintondale man was sentenced Tuesday in Cambria County court to serve 16 to 32 months in the county jail for a 2011 alcohol-related crash that killed a woman.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Reade Twp. water projects receive funding

    Three water treatment systems in Cambria County will receive financial assistance from the state Department of Environmental Protection to remove acid mine drainage from nearby waterways.

    July 22, 2014

  • stoystown Tractor Fest Antique tractors chugging toward Stoystown fest

    A display of a whole lotta horsepower and pulling contests will highlight the 14th annual Antique Tractor Festival.
    Sponsored by Stoystown Lions Club and Laurel Highlands Antique Power Club, the event will be held July 31 through Aug. 3 at the Lions’ park, one-half mile east of Stoystown on Route 30.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Irish dance school wants to set toes tapping in Cambria County

    If you ever wanted to learn to dance an Irish jig, now is your chance.
    Kenny Cavanaugh School of Irish Dance, based out of Milford, Pike County, is expanding into Cambria County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Paterno son, other former assistant sue Penn State for $1M

    A son of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has sued the university over his dismissal from its coaching staff two years ago, saying he has been unfairly linked to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

    July 22, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads