Guide to the Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony Records 1948-1999

Senator John Heinz History Center

Summary Information

Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony Records
, Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony
Collection Number
MSS 899
Date [inclusive]
6 linear feet (6 boxes)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English.
Originally the Wilkinsburg Civic String Orchestra, the Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony was established by Dr. Eugene Reichinfeld in 1948. The materials include audio and visual material related to the symphony and its director Dr. Eugene Reichinfeld. There are reel-to-reel magnetic audio tapes of performances, VHS tapes of concerts, cassettes of shows and newspaper clippings documenting Dr. Reichinfeld and the orchestra.
Sponsor Note
This collection has been made accessible as part of an NHPRC-funded Basic Processing grant.

Preferred Citation

Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony Records, 1948-1999, MSS 899, Library and Archives Division, Senator John Heinz History Center

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The symphony began as a recreational activity for the employees at the Westinghouse Electric Company in 1902. As it grew, the symphony became the Wilkinsburg Civic String Orchestra but was bought and changed to the Westinghouse Club Orchestra in 1941. After Westinghouse stopped funding the orchestra, conductor Dr. Eugene Reichinfeld petitioned the Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce to adopt the symphony, which they did in 1948. The Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony had junior and senior divisions, and was a volunteer non-profit organization. In 1987, the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra was formed from the Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony, and is considered one of the premier community symphonies. Dr. Reichinfeld was the conductor of the Penn Hills Senior High School orchestra during 1961-1999, and also founded the Kennerdell Festival Orchestra in 1957.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony Records contains recordings of concerts, performances, and practice sessions from 1960s and 1970s on reel-to-reel magnetic audio tapes. There are also numerous cassettes with performances from the Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony and Kennerdell Festival Orchestra, VHS tapes with the junior Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony, two large scrapbooks of newspaper clippings of the symphony and Dr. Eugene Reichinfeld, and two cash books. There are also images of Dr. Reichinfeld.

Box 1: Newspaper clippings, including two scrapbooks (1948-1980) documenting the Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony and Dr. Eugene Reichinfeld. There is an income and expenses ledger (1991-1998), a sales and donations ledger (1968-1991), and brochures and announcements of upcoming concerts.

Box 2: Cassettes from 1976-1998 of concerts performed by the Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony at various locations, including: St. Joseph church, Wilkinsburg YWCA, St. James church, Carnegie Hall, Heinz Chapel, and Kennerdell Festival.

Box 3: Reel-to-reel magnetic audio tapes of solos and concerts (1956-76), seven small reel-to-reel magnetic tapes of sounds and recordings (1970s), and nine VHS tapes of the junior Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony (1978-1999).

Box 4: Reel-to-reel magnetic audio tapes of concerts and practice sessions (1954-1980), Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra (1950s-1970s) and Murrysville Symphony Orchestra (1970s).

Box 5: Reel-to-reel magnetic audio tapes of Penn Hills Senior High School Orchestra concerts (1961-1976).

Box 6: Miscellaneous reel-to-reel magnetic audio tapes (1950-1976).

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Senator John Heinz History Center Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania , March 2013

Senator John Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Restrictions on Access


Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Acquisition Information

Gift from Dr. Eugene Reichenfeld in 2006.

Archives accession # 2006.0014

Processing Information

Preliminary processing by Gloria Hendrickson on 01/11/13.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony
  • Penn Hills Senior High School Orchestra

Geographic Name(s)

  • Wilkinsburg (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Reichinfeld, Dr. Eugene


  • Symphony orchestras--Pennsylvania--Allegheny County.

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