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Tuesday Noon Recital Series back in July

Tuesday Noon Recital Series back in July

BY KAYLA PONGRAC

Our Town Correspondent

First Lutheran Church’s “Tuesday Noon Recital Series” has resumed for the month of July. The Series offers a total of four free recitals, all of which begin at noon, on Tuesdays in the months of April, July, October. 

Local musicians Barry Poglein and Sam Coco were featured in the month’s first recital. They performed patriotic music, as well as original compositions.

Both Coco and Poglein are educators, performers and songwriters. As active members of the local songwriting group SongWorks, these two musicians have “always supported the recital series,” said George Fattman, chairman of the Tuesday Noon Recital Series Task Force.

“They are great entertainers because they love people and they are passionate about their music,” he said.

“Tuesday Noon Recital Series” continues July 9 with a performance by Russ and Donna Miller of Friedens. They perform as the duo Take Two. The Millers play trumpet, percussion and various other instruments. They also welcome and encourage audience participation.

“The Recital Task Force is always looking for new talent, and Take Two is new to us even though Russ and Donna have been performing throughout the region since they were teenagers,” Fattman said. “They met while playing gigs and formed a four-piece band. In recent years, the couple have been concentrating on upbeat praise songs, but they still play all kinds of music.” 

Bruce Schettig, of Lilly, will share his talents July 16. Schettig is a classical guitarist who frequently performs in the Cresson area. 

Fattman said that this will mark Schettig’s first performance as part of “Tuesday Noon Recital Series.”

“Bruce is new to us, but not to thousands of fans, especially through the years (performing) at Mount Aloysius College,” Fattman said. “He has a fondness for finger-style classical guitar. People say they could listen to him play and sing all day long.” 

The fourth and final concert will take place July 23 and will feature Johnstown Brassworks, a quintet of professional musicians who also teach in area schools. They have performed together formally since 2014. The group consists of Joshua Brumbaugh, Jerrod Cannistraci, Rebekah Stombaugh, Jason June and Eric Pfeil.

“Brassworks is returning with its high quality of music,” Fattman said. “Its leader, Eric Pfeil, also directs the Greater Johnstown High School Jazz Band, which performed at First Lutheran last April and will return next April. We hope these students and others will come to hear this performance.” 

This month’s line-up of musicians features many local educators, and Fattman said he and his fellow organizers are glad to give them an artistic outlet.

“Music educators work hard at school, and it is quite something that they also perform for the community in groups like Brassworks,” Fattman said. “Some school districts are cutting music staff, but these are some of our most talented and conscientious teachers. It's good to support them any way we can.” 

Now that school is out for the summer, Fattman said he hopes many young students will attend the three remaining July recitals.

“One regret has been that during many noon recitals, children are in school,” he said, “but they can attend in July and we encourage them to come. This series is easy listening, so families will be comfortable while being entertained.” 

Though the recitals (and the light lunches that follow) are free of charge, donations are welcomed and encouraged.

“We've received Pennsylvania Council of the Arts funding for years because of what these performances do for the cultural and social well-being of downtown Johnstown,” Fattman said. “Other contributions cover lunch, which, with the music, makes for one of the best hours of the week.” 

First Lutheran Church has sponsored the “Tuesday Noon Recital Series” for 30 years. 

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