Category Archives: music

Holiday Happenings in December!

decmber2December 1-4, 7-11, 15-18 – “A Christmas Carol” by Little Lake Theatre – Little Lake Theatre – Canonsburg, PA


December 2 – Christmas Parade – Downtown Washington, PA – 7 p.m.


December 2-4 and 9-11 – “A Gift to Remember” by the Old Schoolhouse Players – Mt. Pleasant Twp. Community Center – Hickory, PA


December 3 – Santa Luncheon – Canonsburg Senior Citizen’s Center – Canonsburg, PA – First Seating 10:30 a.m., Second Seating 12 p.m.


December 3 – 4, 10-11 and 17-18 – Santa Trolley – Pennsylvania Trolley Museum – Washington, PA

December 3-4 – Ho, Ho, Ho with the WSO – Trinity High School – Washington, PA – Saturday 8 p.m. – Sunday 3 p.m.


December 6, 10, 13, 17, 20 and 31 – Victorian Christmas Tours – Montgomery Mansion – Claysville, PA – 2 p.m. – 8 p.m


December 8-11 – The Happy Elf – California University – Steele Hall Mainstage Theater – 7 p.m. Dec. 8-10 – Matinees at 2 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11

Box Office: 724-938-5943

December 9-11 and 17-18 – Highmark Holiday Pops – Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts – Admission Info: $24-$99

December 10 – Bright Bulbs at Fifth Avenue Place – Free Event – Design personalized paper light bulb wreaths and create your very own ornament. Don’t miss the balloon art and capture the seasonal spirit with a keepsake caricature.

December 13 – Mannheim Steamroller Christmas – Benedum Center – 8 p.m.

December 16-17 – Polar Express Sleepover – Carnegie Science Center/Highmark SportsWorks – Admission Info: $39 per person – 6 p.m.-9:30 a.m. – All aboard! Your ticket to getting into the holiday spirit is just a train ride away with our Polar Express Sleepover! It’s the perfect way to warm your heart and add sparkle to the season.

December 31, 2016 – Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 – A production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh’s arts-focused New Year’s Eve celebration. Culminating with the city’s Countdown to Midnight and raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball, the six-hour celebration sprawls Downtown’s renowned 14-block Cultural District-inside theaters, galleries, and unique spaces and along city streets on outdoor performance stages.

Echoes Never Lie to release EP

Echoes Never Lie frontwoman Zosia West. Photo by Ron Short Photography.

Echoes Never Lie frontwoman Zosia West. Photo by Ron Short Photography.

There’s a lot of great local music. As a reporter and music enthusiast, I’ve been fortunate enough to report on a few bands that prove the best music isn’t necessarily being generated out of studio music machines. Nor does the local flavor include bands mass replicated by the machine based on what’s currently hot on the Billboard Top Twenty. They write their own songs and play their own instruments.

This month, I sat down with Zosia West, the front woman for Echoes Never Lie. They are a metal band, yes a female lead in a metal band. The band includes Mike Beaver on Drums, Jason “Sledgehammer” Iampietro on lead guitar and John Ploskina on bass. Ploskina is the newest addition to the band, only being a member of the metal quartet for six months.

“I guess we’re kind of a different genre, sort of more lite metal or performance metal, if there is such a thing. If not, I just invented it!” Zosia laughs.

Echoes Never Lie formed four years ago. Zosia had just left the band River Runs Scarlet and ENL was looking for a lead vocalist. They previously produced a demo CD, but nothing on the scale of the soon to be released EP. It has taken a year of fundraising and production to get it finally finished.

“There was a lot of back and forth in the creative process. There’s gutting and rebuilding, then gutting it again,” Zosia remarks. “We’re all pretty proud of what we’ve come up with.”

ENL has toured out of state to venues in Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia. Locally, they have played The Alter Bar and Hard Rock Café (among other venues) in Pittsburgh and The Mainstage Theater in California, Pennsylvania.

I’ve seen ENL a few times and no matter the size of the venue or who is headlining, they have the largest turnout and most rabid fans.  They come out of the gate like a hurricane and fans swarm the stage like metal minions to rock out at the beckon call of front woman, Zosia West’s summon.

Dancing around the stage like a Little Red Riding Hood succubus, West’s vocal growls bounced manically with her strong singing voice. The band crushes with lead guitar, bass and drums all culminating with a stage presence that looks like something I would see on a much larger stage and venue.

I asked Zosia where the stage Zoey comes from as she is very different from her off stage persona.

“On stage Zoey is someone I aspire to be. She is a super hero type who can’t be stopped and commands the crowd,” West says. “I mean, everyday we’re not that. I’m sitting here right now in my scrubs with my dog.”

So how does one become a screaming to operatic performance metal front woman? Zosia attended Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera for fourteen years studying opera. After graduation, she attended Point Park College for musical theater with minors in acting and dance. Her current fitness regimen includes Crossfit, 4 days a week of weight training, voice lessons, piano and pole.

For her immediate future, she plans to keep performing and promoting the EP. In March of 2017, she will begin filming as the lead in the independent feature film, Dead Edit. If all goes well, Zosia will one day realize her dream of following on the path of idol Jared Leto.

“I love that he does very odd, juicy acting roles and then gets to go on tour with his band,” Zosia echoes. (Editor’s Note: Pun intended.)

You can find out more about Echoes Never Lie and listen to their three cut EP at:

Story by Fred Terling, Lead Tomato, for Pennsylvania Bridges

Photo of Zosia West by Ron Short