Sep. 17—About 100 guests gathered Friday evening at Westmoreland Country Club in Export for the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's swanky Autumn Rhapsody.
For WSO Artistic Director Daniel Meyer, it was an opportunity to mingle with people he usually sees at a distance from his podium on the stage of The Palace Theatre.
"Often when we step out on the stage, we just see a sea of faces," he said. "It doesn't totally sink in that every one of those faces made a decision to love this orchestra, for one reason or another, and to be there for that concert.
"Tonight gives me a chance to actually talk to those people and share those personal stories," he said. "I love learning about people's passions about music-making and why they attend the orchestra."
The event also was an occasion to celebrate what the organization has achieved and to share hopes for the future, he added.
For Executive Director Natalie Ann Kasievich, who took her post in May, it also was a chance to meet symphony supporters for the first time or to get to know them better.
"It's a great reminder of all these people who have supported the orchestra for so long," she said. "It's humbling to be in the same room with them, and I feel a responsibility to honor this legacy."
Amid the revelry, which included cocktail hour, dinner, music by EBT Jazz and live and silent auctions, guests paused to honor longtime symphony patron and board member emeritus Nancy Jamison.
"She's been a staple of the orchestra," Kasievich said. She's been involved for so long, supporting the orchestra in so many ways."
Hockey fans were delighted to find Josh Getzoff, the Penguins Radio Network play-by-play announcer, putting his vocal skills to use as the evening's auctioneer.
Event and auction co-chairs were Jody F. Keating and William Z. Friedlander.
Committee members included Janie Belden, Sheila Caramella, Olive Conte, Jo Ann Lightcap, Diane Nickoloff, June Penta, Karen Rich Douglas, Kathy Sobota, Jan Taylor-Condo, Tiffany Taylor and Kaaren Tintori. WSO special events chair is Linda Assard.
Seen: Alice Mitinger, Sean Cassidy, Dr. George and Linda Austin, Barry and Jo Ellen Numerick, Jess and Joan Stairs, Pat Condo, Tom Kohut, Mark Tintori, Jerry and Terry Bowes, Rick Lang, George Shaner, Bob and Pat Majcher, Keith and Shirleah Kelly, Bob Errett and Virginia McCracken, David McMunn and Dennis Bell.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .