Out & About: WSO, SAMA-Ligonier Valley host music under the stars

Aug. 27—It's not the same-old, same-old when the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra collaborates with the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley for "Ligonier Under the Stars."

The musicians ditched the Bach and Beethoven for classic rock hits for the third annual benefit concert on Aug. 20 at Ligonier Country Club in Ligonier Township.

Previous themes were movie music and the British Invasion, said WSO Artistic Director Daniel Meyer.

The idea is to give the audience something fun and unexpected, said Bill Elliott, general manager of the country club.

"It's becoming quite a thing," Meyer added.

About 250 guests gathered for salad, pizza and ice cream prior to the concert, taking seats on the rolling greens with a picture-perfect view of the Chestnut Ridge at their backs.

A brass quintet kicked things off, rocking out on numbers like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." The music continued as the sun set, also featuring strings and a percussion section.

Adding to the fun were a 50/50 raffle and an auction with prizes including symphony tickets, a golf club package, gift baskets and a painting created just for this event by local artist Rita Haldeman.

Seen: WSO Executive Director Natalie Kasievich, SAMA-Ligonier Valley site coordinator Kristin Miller, Joseph and Allana Kondisko, Rich Lopretto and Phyllis Bertok, Terry Graft and Linda Brown, Jo Rossi, Bill and Pam Stablein, Cheryl Mitchell, Todd Stablein, Tom and Nancy Donchez and Joyce McIntire.

Also, Geoffrey and Audrey Monsour, Chris and Carolyn Turner, Michaelene McWhinney, Tom Abraham, Clare Kaczmarek, Chris Ferraro and Alyssa Barzanty, Steve and Terri Jupena, Nancy Mitchell, Patsy Beggs, Carol Romano, Marty and Anne Farb, Larry and Pat Smitley, Ed and Darlene Elliott and Steve, Jackie and Ashley Samek.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley by email at smcmarlin@triblive.com or via Twitter .