Noon recitals set at First Lutheran Church in downtown Johnstown | Entertainment


JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – The summer will be filled with the sounds of music in downtown Johnstown.

The Tuesday Noon Recital Series will resume Tuesday at First Lutheran Church, 415 Vine St.

“The whole purpose is outreach to our downtown community and to the residents who are nearby, and we want to provide a concert opportunity for people who really don’t have a concert opportunity,” said Kim Rauch, founder and associate chairman of the recital task force. “We are blessed with our donors and our patrons that we are able to offer this at no charge.”

He said the series offers a diverse program.

“The caliber is really excellent,” Rauch said. “We always like to include one organ concert to feature the historic Skinner organ. We also like to include variety so over the four concerts everybody finds something they really enjoy along with something that’s probably new to them that’s fresh and comfortable.”

The series will open Tuesday with Andrea Blough, who will perform the aria “O mio babbino caro” (Oh my dear papa) from Giacomo Puccini’s opera, “Gianni Schicchi.”

Her program covers 300 years of music, from early Italian art songs to pieces by Franz Schubert and Fernando Obradors.

Blough has a master’s degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College.

She has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and also at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic and Westminster Symphonic Choir.

“She is a classically trained soprano and so professional,” Rauch said.

Blough’s accompanist will Caleb Bean, a pre-med student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, who teaches and plays piano in a jazz ensemble and plays a trumpet in a concert band.

The July 16 concert will present Johnstown Brassworks, a quintet comprised of area educators who have been performing together since 2014.

Members include Eric Pfeil, trumpet, a teacher at Greater Johnstown High School; Rebekah Stombaugh, trumpet, director of bands at Penn Cambria School District; Jerrod Cannistraci, French horn, director of bands at Richland School District; Joshua Brumbaugh, trombone, instrumental music teacher at Westmont Hilltop School District; and Jason June, tuba, a faculty member at Penn Highlands Community College.

“They’re going to present a real audience pleasing concert with some fun, upbeat pieces and pop tunes,” Rauch said. “They have a really wonderful blend and know what an audience enjoys.”

Aaron Sproul will preset an organ concert July 23.

The associate director of music at St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Pittsburgh has performed throughout the city, including Heinz Chapel.

Sproul is the co-director of the Organ Artists Series of Pittsburgh, which presents recitals throughout the Pittsburgh region.

“I’ve been watching his concert programs and he’s phenomenal, so we’re expecting the organ to be well used,” Rauch said.

The series will conclude July 30 with Take Two – Russ and Donner Miller.

The Maryland duo play numerous instruments and sing a wide range of popular music.

Donna Miller was primarily a drummer with country and swing bands.

Russ Miller’s early instruction by U.S. Army Band leader and composer Thomas F. Darcy led to a spot as trumpet soloist in the Johnstown Symphony Youth Orchestra.

“This will be an appealing concert that will get the audience engaged,” Rauch said. “People will leave with a smile on their face after that concert. It’s going to be fun.”

A light lunch will follow each program.

“People can get together and have fellowship,” Rauch said. “It’s gives them a chance to relax and talk to each other, and it’s amazing the conversations that go on after lunch.”

There is no fee to attend the concerts.

For more information, call 814-536-7521.

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