In 1929, the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra was founded by a small group of local musicians who organized an ensemble in the face of the Great Depression. Supported by the Johnstown Recreation Commission and the surrounding communities, the JSO developed into a strong community orchestra despite small budgets and the onset of World War II. When NBC showcased the orchestra on a radio broadcast in 1939, the JSO was hailed as one of the finest independent orchestras in the eastern United States.

James Blachly is a conductor dedicated to audience engagement, community outreach, and imaginative programming. Recently named the 12th Music Director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra in its esteemed 88-year history, Mr. Blachly also serves as Music Director of the New York City-based Experiential Orchestra, Music Director of Geneva Light Opera, and co-Artistic Director of The Dream Unfinished, a social justice orchestra.