‘Music to the Rescue’ symphony concert recognizes local Carnegie heroes

Matthew L. Stultz, a member of the Washington (Pa.) Symphony Orchestra’s board, narrates a presentation on local Carnegie Medal recipients.

The Washington Symphony Orchestra opened its Feb. 18, 2018, “Music to the Rescue” concert at Trinity High School in Washington, Pa., with a presentation on Washington County Carnegie heroes numbering 16. As part of the presentation, “Heroes Among Us,” a short documentary on the history of the Commission and its heroes, was also shown. A short description of the Commission and its work also appeared in the concert program.

Concert attendees included Carnegie heroes William David Pennell, who in March 1999, rescued three people from a burning car in Monongahela, Pa., and Thomas W. Siegler, who helped save two men from drowning after their towboat was swept into turbulent water at the base of a dam in January 2005 on the Ohio River. Commission President Eric P. Zahren, and his wife, Laura Zahren, also attended the performance.

“Music to the Rescue” was a fitting theme to pair with the Commission’s work, said Adam Shaffer, general manager for the symphony. In addition, the orchestra prides itself on working other local organizations into its programming when appropriate, enhancing the educational experience for its patrons.

Included in the program were John Williams’ film favorites “Superman” and “Raiders March,” along with a medley from the James Bond films. On the classical side, the concert featured Tchaikovsky’s “Marche Slave,” Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” and Verdi’s “Triumphal March” from Aida.

“Whether it was Superman or Mighty Mouse from our childhood, we knew when we heard that memorable musical motif that help was on the way,” said Yugo Ikach, principal conductor and music director. “With ‘Music to the Rescue,’ we shared musical moments that inspire and strengthen us.”

The concert also featured 10 talented musicians from four Washington County high schools through the Side-by-Side Program, playing wind, brass, string, and percussion instruments with orchestra mentors.

“Music to the Rescue” was the third of four concerts in the Washington Symphony Orchestra’s 16th season. The orchestra presents four concerts a year featuring a blend of classics and pops around a central theme. In addition to the traditional holiday concert, “Ho Ho Ho with the WSO,” next year’s themes are “Scary Music,” “Fire and Ice,” and “Back to Broadway.”

For more information about the orchestra, visit washsym.org.

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