James Blachly

Maestro James Blachly, of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, announces the 2019-20 season on Tuesday at Peoples Natural Gas Park. 

For its 91st season, the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra is shining the spotlight on the city’s heritage.

The organization revealed the name of the 2019-2020 concert season – Made in Johnstown – at a news conference held Tuesday at Peoples Natural Gas Park in downtown Johnstown.

The theme for the upcoming season is about celebrating the rich cultural heritage, history and future of Johnstown.

Maestro James Blachly said the concert season is the most exciting and immersive season imaginable.

“This entire season will feature the art and industry created in Johnstown and the ethnic and cultural heritage that has made this city what it is today,” he said. “In my three years as music director, I have been continually impressed with the history and cultural heritage of this city and region. 

“This season is our opportunity to celebrate all that has made Johnstown what it is today, and also to celebrate the art and industry that is made in this city.”

The symphony’s subscription series will include the following seven concerts that will be held at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on the Pitt-Johnstown campus:

• Opening Night! will be held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 and it will be a Slavic season opener featuring the Tamburitzans as they perform authentic choreography to Eastern European music for orchestra, including Johannes Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 5” and George Enescu’s “Romanian Rhapsody No. 1.” The concert will begin with Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 8 in G Major.”

• At 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9, the symphony will present Made in Brahms-Town and it will feature Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 1” and selections from Italian operas by Gioachino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini.

• For the holidays, the symphony will present The Joys of Christmas! at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. The Christmas Pops concert will feature the Johnstown Symphony Chorus, Inclined to Sing and the Johnstown Symphony Christmas Brass.

• JSO Pops: Movies From Johnstown will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 and showcase music from “Slap Shot” and “All the Right Moves.” The evening also will include Open Mic Night at the Symphony. Those interested in performing with the symphony will audition in October. More information can be found at www.johnstownsymphony.org.

• At 7:30 p.m. March 14, the symphony will present Romanticism Across Cultures and it will include Italian, Polish, African American and Nordic music. Works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frederic Chopin, Jessie Montgomery and Jean Sibelius will be featured.

• A Choral Festival will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 4 and feature the Johnstown Symphony Chorus and Inclined to Sing. The concert is meant to celebrate American music and Johnstown’s choral traditions.

• The season will conclude with Grand Finale! at 7:30 p.m. May 2 and highlight the music of the British Isles, including Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” will be performed with photography accompanying the piece from NASA’s Hubble Telescope. Guest artist will be world-renowned flutist and composer Chris Norman, who will present his modern day tone poem about Scotland, “Out of Orkney.”

“This season is an invitation for Johnstown to become even deeper in relationship with the Johnstown Symphony and for the Johnstown Symphony to be even further engaged with the city,” Blachly said. “This whole season is envisioned as a way for us to tell the story of Johnstown and for us to engage with the city in ever more important and joyful and innovative ways.”

To purchase tickets, call the symphony office at 814-535-6738 or visit www.johnstownsymphony.org.


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