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WSO outdoor concert goes off without hitch at Fort Ligonier

| Sunday, June 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
(from left), Fort Ligonier board members, Richard Danforth and Joe Byers, join Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra president, Priscilla Richardson and her husband, Ray, during the sponsor reception at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra free concert held at Fort Ligonier on Saturday evening, June 29, 2013.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
(from left), Steve Gooder, Fort Ligonier past board president, Annie Urban, Fort Ligonier Executive Director, Ted Weidlein, Fort Ligonier current board president, and Charles A. Fagan III, Fort Ligonier past board president, gather at the sponsor reception during the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra free concert held at Fort Ligonier on Saturday evening, June 29, 2013.

Thick, dark clouds gathered near Fort Ligonier on the evening of June 29, threatening to drench an outdoor concert by the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. But the clouds seemed to move off miraculously just as artistic director Daniel Meyer raised the baton for the music to begin.

Call it a testimony to the power of positive thinking, as the fort's executive director, Annie Urban, and the symphony's board president, Priscilla Richardson, refused to entertain even the idea of rain.

Music lover and Westmoreland County CommissionerChuck Anderson turned an eye to the skies and willed the clouds to head for Johnstown.

With those powerful minds working together, the crowd of hundreds settled on the grassy slope inside the fort walls for a program of patriotic songs to salute the armed forces, Mozart's Symphony No. 38 and numbers by beloved American composers Rodgers and Hammerstein and Aaron Copland. And stayed dry.

It was the second year for the free pre-Fourth of July program and a felicitous arrangement for both organizations, Richardson and Urban agreed.

A pre-concert reception was held in appreciation of sponsors including Citizens Bank, Burnett Oil Co., Janney Montgomery Scott, Somerset Trust, Ted and Peggy Weidlein,Ralph andVirginia Bennett,Don and Kim Kramer and former ambassador to Norway, John Ong withLee.

Seen at the reception: Ray Richardson, Bruce Robinson, Dale and Linda Hall, Denny andBonnie Zera, Joe and Janice Byers, Mary Weidlein, Charles III and Stephanie Fagan, Joe and Mollie Walton, Richard and Nicole Danforth, Joe and Lisa Frederick, Steve and Janice Gooder, Jim and Susie Parker, Henry Scully, Paul Fry, H and Pat Childs, Jeff Cook and Diane Harshberger, Joe and Connie Vella and Harry and Rene Smail with Caileana.

— Shirley McMarlin

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