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.

Celebrate the Holidays with the WSO!

Nutcracker Tickets | Home for the Holidays Tickets

 

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Recent blog posts

One Book/ One Westmoreland

Read a great book and receive discounted tickets! The WSO has teamed up Westmoreland County Federated Library System to enhance the music experience with a Fall/Winter One Book One Westmoreland program.  Community members are invited to read Christian Davenport’s The Space Barons and join a book discussion. The Space Barons is the story of a group of billionaire entrepreneurs who are pouring their fortunes into the… Read More

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Spend the Holidays with the WSO!

Nutcracker Tickets | Home for the Holidays Tickets It’s the merriest time of year! Join us the 25th Anniversary Production of the Nutcracker on December 8 & 9 featuring a cast of 100 from the Laurel Ballet. You will be enchanted on this magical, musical trip to the land of the Sugarplum Fairy, waltzing snowflakes and enchanted toys. Tickets start at just $13. Then make plans to attend Home for the… Read More

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Introducing Orchestrating NextGen

Free Event | RSVP November 6, 5-7 p.m. The Palace Theatre Megan Suite From Executive Director Endy Reindl I am sure you can empathize with the following situation. Joe is 29, a middle ­level account executive with a major health insurance firm in Southwestern PA. As part of his recent success landing him into middle-management, Joe has been compelled to attend networkers,… Read More

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