Bryan Lohr to perform in historic hall
By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
The Grand Halle on Broad Street will commence its 2019-2020 Performance Series beginning at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 with a performance by organist Bryan Lohr.
The venue’s Performance Series is now in its eighth year, and it is made possible in part by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Lohr, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon and the Julliard School of Music, is to play music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and Samuel Barber. Lohr will be performing the musical compositions on The Grand Halle’s historic Adam Stein pipe organ, which was built in 1902.
Kim Rauch, program chair for the Grand Halle, said Lohr has been performing in every Performance Series season since its inception.
“Bryan has been with us from the start,” Rauch said. “He is an incredible player and knows how to get the most from the organ at the Grand Halle. He picks interesting music and engages the audience with his programs.”
Before being purchased by the non-profit organization The Steeples Project and repurposed as The Grand Halle on Broad Street, the building was known as Immaculate Conception Church. Rauch said the Gothic architecture and “acoustically rich space” makes for the perfect combination when it comes to presenting events and performances.
“When you enter the halle, you enter the past in the beauty of the architecture, the stained glass, and the sense of the cultural heritage that constructed this building over one hundred years ago,” he said. “As music resounds from the Gothic arches, one is reminded of a spirit that still lives on. The holiday decor only adds to the charm and warmth of the building.”
Rauch said he hopes people show their support of not only Lohr, but also the historic building that Lohr will fill with music.
“I think Bryan treasures the history of the Grand Halle,” Rauch said. “He appreciates what The Steeples Project is doing to preserve the building and the organ. I hope Bryan's fans and new listeners will come out to hear this excellent performer. We are blessed to have him in our locality. Everyone is invited to come out to hear Bryan and support his music and the Grand Halle.”
Upcoming holiday-themed events scheduled as part of The Grand Halle’s 2019-2020 Performance Series are: Nicholas Feast Panto beginning at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6; SongWorks Christmas Show beginning with dinner at 6 p.m. Dec. 18 (the concert begins an hour later); and The Service of Nine Lessons and Carols beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 20.
“One of the greatest joys that I have is having new audience members discover the beautiful building and hearing how great music sounds in the Halle,” Rauch said.
Tickets for all of these events and performances can be purchased by visiting www.grandhalle.com or by calling 814-536-7986.
Lohr’s concert is sponsored by Somerset Trust Co.
The Grand Halle is a member of the Arts Coalition of the Alleghenies, a group of arts organizations raising arts awareness for the region.
The Grand Halle will close for the first few months of 2020, during which a major plastering and repainting renovation project will take place.
The Performance Series is to resume in April 2020 with a performance by Cambria City Chorus. A “Spring Tea” is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. May 3. More details about these events will be publicized in Our Town in the spring.