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 season 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 for the past several decades, the orchestra presented Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker at the Palace Theatre and, annually since 1975 has offered Young People’s Concerts, two one-hour daytime concerts for area elementary school students held at Greensburg Salem High School. The WSO looks forward to resuming these presentations next season.

Maestro Markou founded the Westmoreland Youth Symphony Orchestra in 1981 and conducted the orchestra in its first years. The WSO Academy of Music was founded by Morrie Brand in 2005, creating more than 12 additional music education programs for youth and adults.

In 2021-2022 the WSO presents its 53rd anniversary season. The WSO continues to provide classical performances and quality education for the region because of the loyal support of our amazing community. We look forward to a bright future full of incredible music.

2021-22 Season

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Recent blog posts

Welcome to the 2021-22 Season!

The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, under the artistic direction of Daniel Meyer, announces its 2021-2022 season beginning on October 23, 2021. The WSO presents five Saturday evening concerts at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg, beginning at 7:30 p.m. After presenting a live stream season due to the pandemic, the orchestra returns to in-person concerts at the Palace Theatre but the option… Read More

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Autumn Rhapsody Gala

Westmoreland Symphony presents Autumn Rhapsody Gala with Guest Auctioneer Paul Steigerwald The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra announces its Autumn Rhapsody gala event on Friday, October 15 at the Westmoreland Country Club with guest Auctioneer Paul Steigerwald, an Emmy award-winning American sportscaster. The honorary chair is Sean Cassidy, and the Special Events Chair is Linda Assard and Auction Co-Chairpersons are Diane Nickoloff and… Read More

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Rhythm of the Road Concert

The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra will present Rhythm of the Road concert on the grounds of the Lincoln Highway Experience on Saturday, August 21 at 7:30 p.m. The free concert, conducted by Artistic Director Daniel Meyer features works by Joplin, Mozart, Gershwin and Cole Porter. Guests may bring their own chairs; limited seating at picnic tables is available at the museum.… Read More

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