Dogs put on 'command' performance at Pittsburgh orchestra audition
Ten sit, but only five stay.
On the line: a chance to “perform” vocals with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
And a treat.
“We thought it would be something fun and exciting for him to try,” said Debra Cutshall, owner of Bailey, a 13-year-old poodle.
Bailey was one of five dogs selected on Tuesday for a performance of the “Hunting Horn Symphony” on June 9 at Point State Park. The dogs are expected to bark on command in collaboration with four of the symphony's horn soloists.
Cutshall, of Greensburg, said she taught Bailey to speak on command.
Lucy McCloskey of South Park said she didn't use hand signals for her shepherd, Sonny, but rather taught him to speak on a “bark” command.
Ronald Schneider, one of the symphony's horn soloists, knows what it takes to make those signals work, having performed the same piece in 2004 in Heinz Hall.
“You have to get the dog to make noise beginning and stopping with hand signals,” Schneider said. “You want a nice chorus, not just one yap.”
The 10 dogs were pulled from 11 video submissions in which owners had to demonstrate not only that their pet has pipes, but that they could follow commands to sit and pause.
Those commands can be learned, said Dan Rossi, executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania and one of the judges.
“It can be done, ,” he said. “It can be a little difficult. ”
Bailey and Sonny will join Jetty, Grizzly and Sergeant Preston as the performing pooches.
“He froze up, but I'm going to work with him,” McCloskey said. “I'll always have a recording of him. When I lose him, I can always hear him.”
Fawzi Haimor, resident conductor for the symphony, said it was the first time he'd judged a dog audition.
“Each one is so talented in its own way,” he said. “It's amazing, the different dog sounds there can be.”
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Add Megan Guza to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wintry mix of rain, freezing rain and snow bearing down on Pittsburgh area
- 2 arrested in Wilkinsburg shooting
- Uber gains PUC approval to operate in most of Pa. for 2 years
- Pa. police departments worry order on criminal seizures hurts bottom line
- Man accused of starting Homestead fire not competent to stand trial, psychiatrist says
- Woman, 77, dies in Monroeville house fire
- Propel Braddock Heights sends students home because of threat on first day back after gun incident
- Pipelines key to growth in shale industry
- Federal grand jury indicts man for violating poultry law while operating illegal slaughterhouse in his Jefferson Hills home
- Beaver County man arrested in 24-year-old Clinton County cold case
- Police stop car in Beltzhoover, find body in back seat