Johnstown Symphony Orchestra to stage musical journey at airport

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Jun. 23—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a musical journey from rock to classical.

In partnership with Nulton Aviation, the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra will present "Ready for Takeoff!" at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the lower hangar of Nulton Aviation at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, 479 Airport Road, Johnstown.

The full force of the symphony orchestra will be on display from a stage within the airplane hangar, where it will play Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, Elton John and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No. 5."

The orchestra will be joined by rock vocalist Mary Jo Swank, an audience favorite from the JSO's concert "Open Mic Night at the Symphony" in 2020.

Making his solo debut with the JSO, Bedford resident and well-known recording artist and vocalist Matt Otis will be featured on stage with the orchestra.

Maestro James Blachly said the concert is an extension of the symphony's past mill concerts in the Johnstown community.

"I have to give full credit to my incredible colleague Jessica Satava and her efforts to expand the reach of this orchestra in bringing our symphony to the city and creating a magical atmosphere through music," he said.

"We want to highlight the new energy of this region, and of course we want to put on a great party. This has been a years-long partnership with Nulton Aviation and so many others to make this dream a reality."

For the concert, the audience will be seated outdoors on the apron of the hangar on the tarmac. Those with season tickets will have access to seating under a tent if preferred.

In celebration of the performance experience, the JSO and its partners are offering opportunities to enhance the event for the public.

The concert area will open at 6 p.m. Local talent Sam Coco will entertain from 6 to 7:15 p.m., and snacks, soda, iced tea and water will be available for purchase. Aviation-themed toys and activities will be available, including face-painting.

JSO supporter and aviator Ross Russo is donating a jet flight over Johnstown to be raffled off at the concert. In addition, Nulton Aviation and Blachly have donated the chance for the winner of a raffle to join Blachly as his co-pilot for a flight in the state-of-the-art flight simulator.

General admission tickets are $30, $15 and $5 for students.

Parking for the concert will be off-site at The Home Depot and Lowe's, and buses sponsored by McIlwain Charters will shuttle the public to and from the concert site beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The performance is made possible by Nulton Aviation Services, Ross Russo, Sharyn Spinelli, Highmark, Lockheed Martin, Cornerstone Asset Management, McIlwain Charters, JWF Industries, The Home Depot and Lowe's.

The concert will be held rain or shine.

For more information or to order tickets, call 814-535-6738 or online at