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.

Summer with the Symphony!

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Recent blog posts

Summer with the Westmoreland Symphony!

The WSO Announces Summer Concert Lineup! (GREENSBURG) The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra will present three Live on the Lawn Friday evening concerts at the Hempfield Park Amphitheatre and announces the return of Summer Sparklers, our free concert at St. Clair Park on Friday, July 9 at 7 p.m. The friday concerts include Beo String Quartet featuring musicians Jason Neukom, violin; Sean Neukom, viola;… Read More

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WSO 19th Annual Hat Luncheon

Hat Luncheon Saturday, June 12, 2021 – 11 a.m. reception, noon luncheon Greensburg Country Club The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual Hat Luncheon returns to the Greensburg Country Club on Saturday, June 12, 2021. Co-chairpersons Karen Kohut and Diane Nickoloff welcome guests to the champagne reception beginning at 11:00 a.m. and the luncheon at noon. The event will be held on… Read More

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Season Finale with Maxim Lando

Maxim Returns – Season Finale Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. Live-streamed Cindy McTee: Adagio Efraín Amaya: Angelica Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1   Maxim Lando, piano >TICKETS The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra presents Maxim Returns, the season finale of its Front Row Season on May 1, 2021, at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The digital concert will be… Read More

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