Noon recitals to be held at First Lutheran Church

·2 min read

Jun. 23—The music is continuing this summer in an area church.

The Tuesday Noon Recital Series will resume in July at First Lutheran Church, 415 Vine St., downtown Johnstown, and it's featuring a schedule or new and veteran performers.

George Fattman, task force chairman, said the series returned in April to great response after having to be canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

"I was pleasantly surprised because we couldn't serve lunch and the two go together, but we had a good turnout," he said. "People were really happy to be there. Our turnout ranges from 40 to 100 people."

A longtime favorite, HighStrung, whose artists go by "Smitty and Deese," will open the series on July 6.

HighStrung is known for Celtic and other ethnic songs, accompanied by violin, guitar and other instruments.

They said they are honored to be part of the recital series.

"It's a joy to play music in the grand old building with its glorious acoustics and receptive audience," the couple said.

On July 13, guitarist John Bagnato will perform.

Bagnato holds a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, and has performed and conducted jazz improvisation workshops around the globe.

Besides jazz, he is interested in blues and Latin American concert music for the guitar as well as popular styles he plays on the Brazilian cavaquinho and Cuban tres.

"He performed with us a while ago and was eager to come back, but we had to cancel last year," Fattman said. "He has so much talent and he's going to be a fine addition."

The July 20 concert will feature vocalist Justin Rohrbaugh, accompanied by pianist Devon Haselrig.

Rohrbaugh is an up and coming gospel talent, according to Haselrig, his mentor, composer and director.

Rohrbaugh is a ministry assistant at Franklin Street United Methodist Church and a staff member of Backyard Ministries.

"He hasn't had much formal training but he's sung his whole life," Fattman said.

The series will conclude July 27 with the Pazzynski Family with Ukulele Eddie performing a variety show.

They sing and play various instruments and engage the audience in fun with music.

"This is a great concert to have at the end of July," Fattman said. "They are talented but they don't take it too seriously."

There is no fee to attend the concerts.

"It's a good break, you don't have too many programs downtown at noon on a workday," Fattman said. "We have all different types of people coming and they appreciate it."

The plan is to resume serving lunch for the October recital series.

Funding for the series is provided by contributions from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

For more information, call 814-536-7521.

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