The Tuesday Noon Recital Series will return July 6 with a long-time favorite, HighStrung, whose artists go by “Smitty and Deese.”
The recitals are held at First Lutheran Church, 415 Vine St., Johnstown. They are subsidized by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
HighStrung is known for Celtic and other ethnic songs, accompanied by violin, guitar and other instruments. But this time will be different.
“This time we want to pay tribute to one of our biggest inspirations and influences in folk/pop music since we were young,” the couple said in an email. “You’ll have to guess who that might be.”
“We are always honored to be part of the Noon Recital Series. It’s a joy to play music in the grand old building with its glorious acoustics and receptive audience.”
Others in the series:
July 13. John Bagnato, guitar.
July 20. Justin Rohrbaugh, voice, accompanied by Devon Haselrig.
July 27. The Pazzynski Family With Ukulele Eddie.
Smitty and Deese come from families of 19th Century Irish, Scottish and German immigrants. They grew up in the farm and coal country of Western Pennsylvania, where they were exposed to a variety of musical traditions.
Smitty and Deese come from families of 19th Century Irish, Scottish and German immigrants. They grew up in the farm and coal country of Western Pennsylvania, where they were exposed to a variety of musical traditions. Deese became a classical violinist and played with a symphony. She also pursued Irish and Scottish fiddling, mandolin and bouzouki.
Smitty’s affinity for folk music led him to become a singer and guitar player.
The couple arrange and perform engaging versions of songs in numerous genres. They have appeared throughout the region and have produced CD’s.
Bagnato holds a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. He 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.
Rohrbaugh is an “up and coming talent,” according to his mentor, Gospel pianist, composer and director Devon Haselrig, who will be his accompanist. Rohrbaugh is a ministry assistant at Franklin Street United Methodist Church and a staff member of Backyard Ministries.
The Pazzynski Family with Ukulele Eddie return to the recital series with what might be called a variety show. They sing and play various instruments and engage the audience in fun with music.