Savoyards, Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra open seasons in Carnegie, Upper St. Clair
The Pittsburgh Savoyards open their 82nd season with a production of “Ruddigore” at 8 p.m. Oct. 11-12 and Oct. 17-19 and at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13 and 20 at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, 300 Beechwood Ave.
The group formed in 1938 and is Pittsburgh’s oldest theater troupe. They are dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the comic operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan. The shows feature locals only, whether onstage, backstage or in the orchestra. It is considered a semi-professional, community-based nonprofit theater company funded mostly by ticket sales with additional revenue coming from donations, grants, concession sales and fundraisers.
The name “Savoyards” comes from the Savoy Theater in London, where many of the operas premiered and were performed for many years. It is used by groups throughout the world to indicate their devotion to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.
For many years, the Pittsburgh company did not have a permanent home. For most of its history, stage sets were stored in temporary locations, being moved whenever affordable space became available. Since 1993, the Pittsburgh company has performed at the Carnegie Music Hall and recently began storing its sets and costumes in a location in Bellevue.
The company is governed by a volunteer board of trustees. Each performance is accompanied by a live orchestra of semi-professional and professional musicians who donate their time to the show.
Membership is open to all people who wish to learn, perform or support Gilbert and Sullivan performances, whether on the stage, in the orchestra or behind the scenes. It has no full-time paid staff.
They will perform “The Mikado” in the spring.
For tickets and more information, visit www. pittsburghsavoyards.org.
The first show of the season for the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra will be on Nov. 2 at Upper St. Clair High School, performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
The community group of volunteer musicians is dedicated to providing quality music at a reasonable cost. The group began in 1958 when amateur musicians formed an ensemble known as the Bethel Park Orchestra. Eventually it moved to Carnegie and performed at the music hall on Beechwood Avenue under its new name, the Carnegie Civic Symphony.
In 1983, the name became the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra to better reflect the group’s membership and community involvement. The group is currently under the baton of Warren Davidson and practices every Tuesday evening at Our Lady of Grace Parish’s Conroy Hall in Scott Township.
Their Christmas concert is set for Dec. 21. St. Bernard Church in Mt. Lebanon will be the site for a special performance of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 on Feb. 16, and they will return to Upper St. Clair High School for performances on March 28 and May 16.
For more information, visit www.pittsburghcivic orchestra.net or call 412-854-1389. The group welcomes new musicians and/or volunteer help with ticket sales, refreshments and publicity or to serve on its board of directors.