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.

Welcome to the 2019-2020 Season!

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Recent blog posts

One Book/One Westmoreland Winter 2020

Read a great book and receive discounted tickets! The WSO has teamed up with the Westmoreland County Federated Library System to enhance the music experience with a Winter One Book /One Westmoreland program.  Community members are invited to read John Behrendt’s The  City of Falling Angels and join a book discussion. Turning to the magic, mystery, and decadence of Venice, Midnight in the Garden… Read More

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Maxim Lando’s Encore Valentine’s Weekend Performance

Parisian Valentine Saturday, February 15, 2020 – 7:30 p.m. The Palace Theatre in Greensburg (photo Daniel Meyer and pianist Maxim Lando receive a standing ovation for the WSO’s 50th Season Opening Night) Join the WSO Valentine’s Weekend for a french-inspired concert you will be sure to love. “We celebrate the return of the wonderful pianist Maxim Lando, who made such an… Read More

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Academy of Music Spring Semester 2020

The Westmoreland Youth Symphony Orchestra Program offers three orchestra playing opportunities for young musicians in elementary school through high school. The >WYSO Philharmonic is open to high school as well as advanced middle school students by audition. It meets on Wednesday evenings beginning February 5 at the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center. Repertoire includes Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Mussorgsky’s Night on… Read More

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