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Fort Ligonier prepares for 2nd Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra performance

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:05 p.m.

Fort Ligonier continues to make history as it prepares for the second Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra concert Saturday on the grounds of the fort.

“We had 600 people attend last year,” said Annie Urban Fort Ligonier executive director. “It was so successful; we knew we just had to do it again.”

Last year, people of all ages gathered to enjoy the sounds of the symphony. Attendees brought blankets and picnic baskets and settled on the hills and lawn of the fort to watch the performance.

“Last year was beautiful,” Urban said. “The fort really is an amazing background.”

Urban came up with the idea while attending a meeting in January of 2012, when she heard symphony assistant managing director Morrie Brand comment that the symphony is always looking for new and unique venues.

“Morrie came out and walked the grounds,” Urban said. “We decided it would work and we made it happen last summer.”

Brand, who has been with the symphony for 14 years, thought it would make the perfect concert spot. “I've always been interested in historical sites,” he said. “I'd driven by the fort so many times but never went in. I was so impressed with the layout.”

Brand also commented on the receptiveness of last year's audience. “Of all our summer concerts, that was the most appreciative audience.”

This year, Urban anticipates a crowd of up to 800 or even 1,000 due to the past success and the smooth running of the event.

“Last year we had so many wonderful comments,” she said.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert kicks off at 7 p.m. The event is free to the public. The concert lasts about an hour. Guests are welcome to bring refreshments.

Rebecca Ridinger is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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