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."
I believe in music. Sweet melodies make me feel radiant and free.
I play the piano. As I’ve learned to play, my mom has been with me every step of the way. I remember her sitting next to 6-year-old me, sharing the same bench, the same music, as I progressed from playing single notes to mini-recitals.
My mom is a passionate classical music lover. Music takes both of us to another world.
In Mozart’s “Horn Sonata,” Mom and I are attending an extravagant royal ball.