About Us

The WSO was founded in 1969 by several area musicians and community leaders who wished to have a good local orchestra perform under the direction of an outstanding conductor. Dr. Karp, a noted conductor and later General and Music Director of the Pittsburgh Opera, fit the bill. Amateur musicians were initially used for the four-concert season at Greensburg Salem High School, but under Dr. Karp’s tutelage, the orchestra grew each year both in size and quality of sound. In 1974, the orchestra presented the first of its annual outdoor summer concerts, and the Visiting Artists Program, a school ensemble program, was introduced. When Dr. Karp became ill in 1975, Michalak, then Assistant Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, took over, remaining through the 1977-78 season.

The 1978-79 season was marked by a conductor search, with the job going to Markou, then Associate Conductor of the Canton (Ohio) Symphony. In his first season (1979-80), the orchestra moved to a new hall (the then newly renovated Palace Theatre) and presented five subscription concerts. During his 31-year tenure the quality of performance steadily improved, reaching critical acclaim in recent years.

During the 2011-2012 when the national search for a new conductor was whittled down to two finalists, Maestro Meyer was the WSO’s Artistic Advisor. The job title was changed to Artistic Director when he signed his contract at mid-year.

Each December, the orchestra in conjunction with Laurel Ballet presents three performances of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Ballet at the Palace and, each fall since 1975, has offered a Young People’s Concert, a one-hour daytime concert for area elementary school students, also at the Palace.

Announcing our 50th Anniversary Season!

LEARN MORE!

Recent blog posts

Youth Orchestra Performs with the WSO Opening Night

Selected members of the WYSO Philharmonic will take the stage with the musicians of the WSO to perform Sibelius’ Finlandia.  The opportunity to perform side-by-side with a professional orchestra and conductor on the Palace stage is a unique learning experience. “To sit down with skilled musicians inspires the younger musicians. It’s exhilarating for them to perform for a large audience—it’s a… Read More

Read more

Welcome to the 50th Season from Maestro Daniel Meyer

Welcome to the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Season in our historic home at the Palace Theatre! We welcome you to join us, and we hope that you will experience a musical performance that will transport you, lift you, and inspire you.  We also hope that this marks the beginning of another fifty wonderful years of bringing classical music to… Read More

Read more

Meet the New WSO Board President – Mike Matteo

The WSO board of directors has selected Michael Matteo as its new president. Mr. Matteo is the 18th president and has served on the WSO board since 2015. He replaces James Cook who served as board president since 2016 and who remains an active board member. Mr. Matteo is a lifelong musician and joined the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra in 2001 and… Read More

Read more