About Us

History of the Palace Theatre

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.

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Recent blog posts

Valentine’s Day Weekend Concert!

Westmoreland Symphony presents Classical Heart, a Livestream concert featuring Mark Kosower Greensburg, PA – The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra presents Classical Heart as part of its Front Row Season on February 13, 2021, at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The digital concert will be live-streamed. The concert features Cleveland Orchestra’s principal cello Mark Kosower performing Boccherini’s Cello… Read More

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Celebrate the Season with Home for the Holidays

The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra presents Home for the Holidays on Saturday, December 19, 2020 beginning at 7:30 p.m. The WSO will perform holiday classics including Joy to the World, The First Noel, Deck the Halls and popular tunes including Christmas Time is Here from the 1965 program “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and Mel Torme’s The Christmas Song, as well as Anderson’s… Read More

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Opening Night Concert to feature photos from the Carnegie Museum of Art

The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra presents Back to Bach on October 24, 2020 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The digital concert will be live streamed. The WSO is pleased to announce a new collaboration with the Carnegie Museum of Art for a very special performance on Opening Night. As the WSO musicians perform George Walker’s “Lyric… Read More

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