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Out & About

Out & About: Symphony brings it on home for the holidays

Shirley McMarlin
| Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, 1:33 a.m.

There’s no place like Greensburg’s Palace Theatre for the holidays, when the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra is in the house.

The symphony presented its always eagerly anticipated and enthusiastically received “Home for the Holidays” concert Dec. 15, culminating in a powerful rendition of the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” with the All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County.

If tradition didn’t demand that the audience rise to its feet for the piece, they probably would have done so anyway, in appreciation of the orchestra and conductor, the guest soloist, and the chorus and its director.

Returning to conduct the orchestra’s annual repertoire of sacred and seasonal music was Westmoreland County native Maria Sensi Sellner . A former associate conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, she is artistic adviser for Hubbard Hall Opera of Cambridge, N.Y.

Guest soloist was soprano Ashley Fabian , a resident artist with the Pittsburgh Opera, whose powerful voice was showcased on pieces including “The Christmas Song” and “Oh Holy Night.”

The All-Star Choir comprises 60 student vocalists from Belle Vernon, Burrell, Derry, Greensburg-Salem, Greensburg Central Catholic, Ligonier Valley and Connellsville high schools. Director is Melody Vigo , the Derry music director and a vocalist who performance resume includes the Fred Waring Blendors, Saint Vincent Camerata and Pittsburgh Opera Chorus, among many others.

Seen at The Palace: Endy Reindl, Morrie Brand and Michele Boulet, Joy Carroll, Jess and Joan Stairs, George Shaner and Michael Philopena, Barbara Ferrier, George and Olive Conte, Romayne Breniser, Theresa Kappel, Keith and Shirleah Kelly, Susan Pollins, Pete and Jeanne Passarelli, Richard and Vicki Shields, Bill and Bonnie Snyder, Bill and Vicki Dramel, Karen O’Connor, Gay Wasserman, Fran McCaffrey and Jay, Christina, Ella, Dominic and Marlaina McCaffrey.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

Maria Sensi Sellner conducts the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Maria Sensi Sellner conducts the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Vickie Dzuban Scott(left) of Murrysville and Sandy Wolk Schimizzi of Greensburg pose for a photo Saturday at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Vickie Dzuban Scott(left) of Murrysville and Sandy Wolk Schimizzi of Greensburg pose for a photo Saturday at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Pittsburgh Opera soprano Ashley Fabian sings as Maria Sensi Sellner conducts the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Pittsburgh Opera soprano Ashley Fabian sings as Maria Sensi Sellner conducts the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Morrie Brand (left), WSO Academy director, and Endy Reindl, WSO executive director, pose for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Morrie Brand (left), WSO Academy director, and Endy Reindl, WSO executive director, pose for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
All-Star Choir members from Connellsville Area High School (from left) Jonathan Bloom, a sophomore from Connellsville; Emily Brooks, a junior from Connellsville; and Joshua Brady, a junior from Connellsville, gather for a photo Saturday at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
All-Star Choir members from Connellsville Area High School (from left) Jonathan Bloom, a sophomore from Connellsville; Emily Brooks, a junior from Connellsville; and Joshua Brady, a junior from Connellsville, gather for a photo Saturday at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Maria Sensi Sellner conducts the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Maria Sensi Sellner conducts the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Vickie Dzuban Scott(left) of Murrysville and Sandy Wolk Schimizzi of Greensburg pose for a photo Saturday at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Vickie Dzuban Scott(left) of Murrysville and Sandy Wolk Schimizzi of Greensburg pose for a photo Saturday at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Pittsburgh Opera soprano Ashley Fabian sings as Maria Sensi Sellner conducts the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Pittsburgh Opera soprano Ashley Fabian sings as Maria Sensi Sellner conducts the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Morrie Brand (left), WSO Academy director, and Endy Reindl, WSO executive director, pose for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
Morrie Brand (left), WSO Academy director, and Endy Reindl, WSO executive director, pose for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert held Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
All-Star Choir members from Connellsville Area High School (from left) Jonathan Bloom, a sophomore from Connellsville; Emily Brooks, a junior from Connellsville; and Joshua Brady, a junior from Connellsville, gather for a photo Saturday at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
All-Star Choir members from Connellsville Area High School (from left) Jonathan Bloom, a sophomore from Connellsville; Emily Brooks, a junior from Connellsville; and Joshua Brady, a junior from Connellsville, gather for a photo Saturday at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ concert at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 15, 2018.
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