Johnstown Symphony Orchestra to hold performance of “Messiah”

Local News

Photo of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and Music Director James Blachly taken by Shawn Schmalz. (courtesy: Johnstown Symphony Orchestra)

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ)– The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra will perform Handel’s timeless oratorio “Messiah” Saturday Dec. 11.

The performance at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, beginning at 7:30 p.m., is sold out, but there will be a free live stream of the concert on their website.

Prior to the concert, Music Director James Blachly and Director Jeffrey L. Webb will share their insights of music at 6:30 p.m. Musicians from the orchestra will perform in the lobby from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, back in March of 2020, Johnstown Symphony Chorus canceled their concert for April and took an 18-month hiatus. In July 2021 it was decided that as long as safety measures were implemented they could restart rehearsal. In August there was an addition that ended up resulting in one of the largest rosters in history with topping at 112 members.

“I am proud of the singers and their determination to return to rehearsal and performance once again despite the obstacles, and their commitment to doing so safely,” Webb said. “Handel’s Messiah is a very special piece for us, and it has been a joy to prepare this with them as our return to the stage. It’s a testament to the resilience of this community that we are back, doing what we do for a sold-out crowd, after all we’ve collectively suffered. As we sing the words this year, we have in our hearts all those friends and family we have lost to COVID-19.”

This historic performance is underwritten in part by Mr. and Mrs. James and Karen Hargreaves, the estate of Jelorma Lopresti DeMario, and Mr. and Mrs. Jay and Julie Follansbee.

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