“We have had all 10 concerts at the High School. It’s a really excellent auditorium with old architecture and great acoustics,” said Gloria Mau, director of education and community programs for the PSO. “Most of our audience for this concert will be students, staff, teachers, the community supporters.”
For the first time, PSO resident conductor Lawrence Loh led the symphony, vocalist Katy Williams, violinist Michael Ferri and the Wilkinsburg Community Choir in a program that featured the works of Irving Berlin, Johannes Brahms, Aaron Copeland, Maurice Ravel and Antonio Vivaldi. The program will feature a special tribute to the armed forces.
“Ten years ago when we started this program, we were looking to focus much more on lower-income areas around the city and we wanted to build relationships and we want to build up music education and bring pride back around the music program,” said Suzanne Perrino, senior vice president of education and strategic implementation at PSO. “The community engagement program is important for K-12 students because the arts helps with creativity and helps with any other curriculum and it inspires kids to stay in school. Kids succeed more and become more successful.”
In addition to the “Celebration of Music and Community” concert, PSO musicians visit various Wilkinsburg schools to provide demonstrations and Wilkinsburg community representatives participate regularly with the PSO’s Community Engagement Committee.
“This brings a positive light to Wilkinsburg to bring the PSO to their backyard. When the symphony comes the people of Wilkinsburg have something special,” Perrino said.
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