Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Celebrates 10 Years of Concerts in the Wilkinsburg Community

Wilkinsburg High School Auditorium, Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m.

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is presenting “A Celebration of Music and Community” with their tenth annual Community Engagement Concert for the community of Wilkinsburg.

Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh will lead the PSO along with guest host WQED’s Jim Cunningham, vocalist Katy Williams, violinist Michael Ferri, and the Wilkinsburg Community Choir.  The program features the works of Irving Berlin, Johannes Brahms, Aaron Copland, Maurice Ravel and Antonio Vivaldi.  In honor of Memorial Day, the PSO will be playing a special salute to our armed forces.

Ferri placed first in the 2011 Duquesne Young Artist National Concerto Competition.  The competition prize is $500 and a performance with the PSO during an Education and Community Engagement Concert.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students K-12.  10 adult tickets are available for a discounted price of $75.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the Wilkinsburg High School Music Department at 412-871-2882 or 412-371-9504 x 2717, and will also be available at the door on the night of the concert.

Over $56,000 has been raised in Wilkinsburg through the PSO’s Community Engagement concerts over the past 10 years.  All proceeds from these concerts in Wilkinsburg continue to benefit the Wilkinsburg School District’s music programs.

The PSO’s close relationship with the Wilkinsburg area has a long history and is continuing to grow.  Along with the May 24 concert, PSO musicians visit Wilkinsburg schools to provide demonstrations, and Wilkinsburg community representatives participate regularly with the PSO’s Community Engagement Committee.  Through its Community Engagement Programs, the PSO builds connections not only with Wilkinsburg, but with numerous other Pittsburgh communities.  The mission of PSO Community Engagement Programs is to embrace and build the relevance between community residents and the PSO.

The PSO would like to thank and recognize the EQT Corporation, Dollar Bank, PPG Industries Foundation, and Goldman Sachs Gives for their support of Community Engagement programs.


Resident Conductor of the PSO and music director of both the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Loh is one of the most exciting young talents on the classical music scene today.  He was brought to national attention in February 2004, when he substituted last-minute for an ailing Charles Dutoit with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Conducting Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Loh received enthusiastic acclaim from orchestra players, audience members and critics, alike. Since his appointment as music director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in 2005, the orchestra has flourished artistically, defining its reputation as one of the finest regional orchestras in the country. His leadership has attracted such artists as André Watts, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jon Nakamatsu, Zuill Bailey and Sharon Isbin.

Award-winning Artistic Director of WQED, Jim Cunningham, is a popular narrator and host for many classical music events in Pittsburgh.  Cunningham has hosted over 100 pre-concert talks for PSO concerts at Heinz Hall, in Midland, PA and at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  As the presenter for the PSO “Unlocking the Classics” series he has spoken to countless music lovers about upcoming performances.  Cunningham’s work has been recognized with the Pittsburgh Symphony Paul J. Ross Award for Excellence in Education and Community Engagement.

Katy Williams has performed extensively in the Pittsburgh area with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera, Mendelssohn Choir, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, River City Brass Band and Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. She was a featured soloist for several Pittsburgh Symphony Holiday Pops concert series and made her PSO BNY Mellon Grand Classics debut in September 2005 with Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She was a soloist in the Heinz Hall performance of The Lord of the Rings and has been the special guest vocalist for the PSO’s Fiddlesticks and Tiny Tots children’s concerts hosted by the PSO.

 Michael Ferri was born in Italy and began studying the violin at age three.  The 18 year old currently studies with Jamie Laredo at the Cleveland Institute of Music as part of the Young Artist Program.  As well as placing first in the 2011 Duquesne Young Artist National Concerto Competition, he was awarded second place in the 2010 Luigi Zanuccoli International Violin Competition in Italy.  Furthermore, Ferri received both the Starling Foundation and Clow Oden Scholarships to the Aspen Music Festival and School.


Editors Please Note:

Friday, May 24, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Wilkinsburg High School Auditorium 






JIM CUNNINGHAM, Narrator & Host



Aaron Copland                         Fanfare for the Common Man

Johannes Brahms                   Academic Festival Overture, Opus 80

Antonio Vivaldi                        Gloria

I. Gloria in excelsis Deo

Wilkinsburg Community Choir

Maurice Ravel                         Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra

Mr. Ferri

 Traditional                               Amazing Grace (A Cappella)

Ms. Williams

Traditional (Higdon)                Amazing Grace

Bob Lowden                           Armed Forces Salute (Audience Sing-Along)

U.S. Army Song

Coast Guard Song

Marines Song

Air Force Song

Navy Song

Wilkinsburg Community Choir

Irving Berlin                             God Bless America

Ms. Williams

Mr. Cunningham

Wilkinsburg Community Choir


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