16th Annual Concert will feature individual players and explore instrument families

April 1, 2019

PITTSBURGH, PA—Inviting audiences of all ages to "Meet the PSO" with its musicians and a close-up view of instruments, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform its 16th annual Neighborhood Partnership concert in Wilkinsburg on Thursday, May 2nd at 7PM.  The lively program will feature individual players and explore the four different families of instruments in an orchestra: strings, woodwind, brass and percussion. It will also include a selection performed by students in the Wilkinsburg School District instrumental program.

All proceeds from the ticket sales directly benefit the music programs in the Wilkinsburg School District. Tickets are priced at $12 for adults and $5 for students; donations for the music program will also be accepted at the door. Since its inception, the partnership has raised more than $80,000 for the district’s music programs.

“Our long-standing partnership with Wilkinsburg is highly collaborative and creates meaningful artistic experiences both for those who perform and those who attend,” said Melia Tourangeau, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “This initiative supports music education in the public school curriculum which helps strengthen the fabric of every community and is essential In every child’s life.”

“The Pittsburgh Symphony Concert is the highlight of our year, and it is such a joy to see people from Wilkinsburg and so many other communities come out to support our students and hear an amazing orchestra,” said Shawn van Mastrigt, music teacher at Turner Intermediate School. “Seeing the support of music in our schools is an encouragement to all of our students and staff. The future of music in Wilkinsburg is always looking brighter.”

The program will be led by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Earl Lee in his first concert in Wilkinsburg. Audiences will hear favorites like Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture and the Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, along with the music of Elgar, Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Bizet. Featured musicians will include Jennifer Steele, flute, and Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp, as well as the trumpet section of the orchestra. A notable highlight of the evening will be a performance by the instrumental music students from Wilkinsburg School District’s Turner Intermediate School, a school that benefits directly from the partnership concert.

“In 2004 the Pittsburgh Symphony came along at a critical time for the Wilkinsburg Music Department.  At the time we had several students who had to share band instruments, no instrumental music instruction for students until 7th grade, and dwindling resources for music instruction. Our PSO Neighborhood Partnership was the impetus that led to a complete revitalization of our program,” said Mr. van Mastrigt. “The proceeds from the annual concerts and support from the musicians and staff at the PSO helped us to secure the resources to purchase new instruments, secure grants, and greatly expand and enhance our offerings.”

About the Event

Day and Date: Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7PM
Location: Turner Intermediate School; 745 Wallace Ave., Pittsburgh PA  15221
    (former Wilkinsburg High School)
Tickets and Donations: Tickets are $12 for adults (10 for $100) and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the evening of the concert. All proceeds from the concert benefit the Wilkinsburg School District Music Program. Additional donations are accepted at the door.

About the Program

Earl Lee, Conductor
Featuring Jennifer Steele, flute, and Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp

Tchaikovsky: “Trepak” from Nutcracker
Mozart: “Overture” to Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492 [The Marriage of Figaro]
Mendelssohn: “Scherzo” from Four Pieces from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Opus 61
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves
Edward Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme, Opus 36 "Enigma Variations"
    VII. "Troyte" Presto
    IX. "Nimrod" Moderato
    XI. "G.R.S." Allegro di molto
Leroy Anderson: Bugler's Holiday
    Micah Wilkinson, trumpet;  Neal Berntsen, trumpet; Chad Winkler, trumpet
Tchaikovsky: “Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker
J. Strauss, Jr.: Vergnügungszug (Excursion Train), Polka, Opus 281
to be announced: Wilkinsburg School District instrumental music student performance
Bizet: “Les Toreadors” from Suite No. 1 from Carmen

About the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Neighborhood Partnerships

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's community engagement programs leverage the power of live music to support goals and priorities of our neighbors across the region. Highly collaborative, these programs cross geographical and disciplinary boundaries to create meaningful artistic experiences that are responsive to issues and interests of the Pittsburgh community. The Wilkinsburg Neighborhood Partnership promotes music education in the Wilkinsburg School District by raising funds for the music program, supplementing music instruction with classroom visits by PSO musicians, and providing opportunities for students to attend performances at Heinz Hall. The Hill District Neighborhood Partnership celebrates the neighborhood's rich cultural legacy and elevates contemporary artistic voices. This year’s Lift Every Voice performance took place on March 2, 2019, at Heinz Hall.

Neighborhood Partnership programs are made possible, in part, by Dollar Bank Foundation, and supported, in part, by UPMC Health Plan.

About the Artists

EARL LEE is Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. A newly appointed Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and former Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Earl Lee is a renowned Korean-Canadian performer who creates powerful, emotional experiences for audiences worldwide. Earl’s passion for music is reflected in his diverse career as both a conductor and a cellist, appearing on major concert hall stages across the globe. Highlights from the 2018-2019 season include: leading the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, returning engagements with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and debut performances with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

The 2018 GRAMMY Award-winning PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, is credited with a rich history of the world's finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" in 1944 and John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. Its "Pittsburgh Live!" series with Reference Recordings has resulted in back-to-back Grammy Nominations in 2015 and 2016. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground-breaking PBS series "Previn and the Pittsburgh." The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 — including international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world's greatest orchestras.

HEINZ HALL FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is owned and operated by Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc., a non-profit organization, and is the year-round home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The cornerstone of Pittsburgh's Cultural District, Heinz Hall hosts many events that do not feature its world-renowned Orchestra including Broadway shows, popular touring artists, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.

Media Contacts
Julie Goetz | Director of Communications
jgoetz@pittsburghsymphony.org | 412.392.4866