Maestro James Blachly

Maestro James Blachly will lead the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra in its new subscription season titled “Made in Johnstown.” The seven concerts will celebrate the city and its many ethnicities.

There’s no stopping the music.

In response to the coronavirus canceling upcoming Johnstown Symphony Orchestra events, the organization has created its Music that Heals – Connecting Our Community With Sound series for its social media platforms.

“We needed to find a way to connect to the community through music but without being able to get together in person,” said Maestro James Blachly. “We thought this would be a way for not only the JSO and myself to continue to bring music to people but for us to get to know our audience members even better.”

A few times a week the JSO is posting playlists submitted by individuals that has been curated by Blachly and artistic staff or guest curators.

“We do an eblast to people who are on our mailing list and we post to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages,” Blachly said.

“There’s a wonderful abundance of resources out there but we feel that can be overwhelming or hard to know what to choose so we’re giving you a few things we think can really be helpful.”

Blachy said the response to the series has been positive with about 50 people making suggestions of music from all genres.

“The responses we’ve gotten have really helped me understand what music is doing in different people’s lives and what’s helping people to get through this time of uncertainty,” he said.

To date, music posted includes classical pieces from Ludwig van Beethoven Johann Sebastian Bach as well selections curated by Jeff Webb, director of the Johns-town Symphony Chorus, and Rachel Allen, a certified music practitioner, sound healer and yoga teacher.

“It’s really an amazing variety,” Blachly said. “It’s orchestral music to the farthest removed from orchestral music; it’s been really fun.”

The hope is the series will provide some sense of comfort and healing.

“Nothing replaces hearing music live, there’s no comparison, but this is what we’re able to do and I’m glad that it seems to be reaching a lot of people,” Blachly said.

Those wanting to share music can do so by emailing info@johnstownsymphony.org. If possible, include a link and a brief description about why you wanted to share the music.

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.

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