Classical Music

Shirley Pechter, who performed at age 8 with the ensemble that later became the Altoona Symphony, looks at the orchestra's 90th anniversary program.
Teresa Cheung / Altoona Symphony

This Saturday, the Altoona Symphony Orchestra will officially open its 90th anniversary season with a concert at the Mishler Theatre in Altoona.

And there is a woman who was there at the start back in 1928. Shirley Pechter, now 97 years old, was part of the Altoona Symphony at the very beginning, when it was just a small group of musicians. Pechter spoke with WPSU's Story Corps in Altoona in 2013. 

"Russell Gerhart was the violin maestro in Altoona," Pechter said.  "And he started what he called an ensemble, which was a group of six of his students."

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program showcasing performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano by Andre Caplet, from the 2016 season of Music at Penns Woods; and the Symphony No. 3 by Franz Schubert, played by the Penn State Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein, in October of 2016. 

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we’ll hear a Bach viola da gamba sonata, played on viola and piano by two Penn State faculty members; “Capriccio Espangol” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov played by the Penn State Philharmonic; and from Music at Penn’s Woods 2017, we’ll hear a ballet suite from “Mother Goose” by Maurice Ravel, and a violin duo with an amazing cover of the hit song, “Hotel California” by the Eagles!

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear cellist Kim Cook play music by Sergei Rachmaninoff from a concert in the Music Penn’s Woods Festival; an instrumental arrangement of “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof,” by Jerry Bock, from that same Penns Woods concert, played by clarinetist Anthony Costa, oboist Timothy Hurtz, and pianist Ann Deighton; and  the Penn State Philharmonic, led by Gerardo Edelstien in Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the “Overture, Scherzo and Finale,” by Robert Schumann, from a Music at Penns Woods Concert;  the “Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano” by Bill Douglas from a 2015 Penn State Faculty Recital with Naomie Seidman, Tim Hurtz and Christohper Guzman; and the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Dolan in a 2017 performance of “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershiwn.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear Penn State Faculty pianist Jose Ramon Mendez play two of the Four Impromptus, D. 935: No. 2 in A-flat and No.3 in B-flat; The Penn State Philharmonic playing The Fountains of Rome by Ottorino Respighi, with guest conductor Theresa Cheung; and PSU faculty saxophonist David Stambler, with pianist Kathy Gattuso-Cinatl, in Moment Musicaux by contemporary American composer Mark Lanz Weiser.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the “Overture, Scherzo and Finale,” by Robert Schumann, from a Music at Penns Woods Concert;  the "Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano" by Bill Douglas from a 2015 Penn State Faculty Recital with Naomie Seidman, Tim Hurtz and Christohper Guzman; and the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Dolan in a 2017 performance of “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershiwn.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear Autumn Song by Felix Mendelssohn, sung by Discantus, a chamber choir from the Oriana Singers with Jane Glocke conducting and Svetlana Rodionova at the piano; then The Planets by Gustav Holst, played by the Penn State Philharmonic led by Gerardo Edelstein.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month’s show includes a Trio Sonata by early 18th century composer Giovanni Benedetto Platti from a Penn State School of Music Spotlight concert; The Oriana Singers, directed by Jane Glocke, performing music from a Bach Cantata; the Opening Movement of the Piano Concerto No.