The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater is an intimate, 350-seat multiple-use performance venue. With a commitment to support the burgeoning arts community in the city of Pittsburgh, the theater serves as an ideal place for emerging local artists, regional artists and arts organizations to take risks and present new work.
Music director Betsy Burleigh has steered The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh's 120 vocalists to appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and at the Library of Congress, venturing beyond their patron composer to other choral treasures. Mozart composed the soaring strains of his unfinished Great Mass in C Minor as an expression of thanks for the recovery from illness of his wife, who then sang the starring first-soprano part at its premiere. The work's occasional lightness of tone and operatic trills may come as a surprise to those with more solemn conceptions of liturgical music, though the opening Kyrie sets a tumultuous storm brewing with its use of the full chorus and solo for strobe light.
Founded in hopes of bringing about a revival of the American brass band, River City Brass aims to share the uniquely joyous art form with audiences across Pennsylvania. And for the past 30-odd years, the group has done just that. River City Brass’s 28-piece ensemble—some of whom have been members since the early ’80s—play more than 50 concerts annually. Their programs span continents and centuries, with every performance bringing a new showcase of styles. Modern music, classical pieces, big-band jazz, and show tunes have all passed through RCB’s bright cornets, chortling tubas, and crisp percussion.
Guests take their seats inside the grandiose Carnegie Music Hall, a space lauded for providing superb acoustics for chamber music and a challenging venue for games of Marco Polo. The venue is tucked inside the same building as the dinosaur bones and European masterworks of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Carnegie Museum of Art.
Students at the Absolute Ballroom & Dance Center can obtain head-turning dance skills that will make them the center of attention at social events while impressing more than their coat-rack dance partners. Offering top-notch dance instruction and an encouraging environment, Absolute Ballroom staffs a group of talented DVIDA-trained instructors who are knowledgeable in a bevy of dance styles and rain-luring routines. Group classes last 50 minutes and include an additional 10 minutes of practice time while honing eye-catching fluidity in newcomer classes (Wednesday nights in June) or beginning salsa classes (Thursday nights in June). Newcomer classes have been created specifically for newbies and are split into ballroom and Latin dance styles, allowing participants to flash hybrid moves like genetically engineered break-dancing replicants.
When the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum opened in 1910, it had a specific mission: to honor the Civil War veterans of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Today, though, the museum honors all Pennsylvania military throughout the country's history, with exhibits on every American conflict.
Size: Big enough for exhibits on topics from military gear to the iconic "We Can Do It!" campaign, plus general-use rooms like the imposing Grand Ballroom.
Eye Catcher: The uniforms on exhibit, which documents the evolution of military garb from the Civil War through modern operations in Iraq.
Permanent Exhibit: A display of war-themed art, which features mediums such as stained glass and oil paint. One painting, dubbed the "Cavalry Charge of Colonel Schoonmaker," depicts the colonel riding into battle astride a white horse.
Don't Miss: The Hall of Valor, which is filled with nearly 700 members honoring local veterans and military heroes. Many of them have earned honors from the Silver Star to the Medal of Honor.