“Expect to dance”: Live DJ set pairs up with 40-piece orchestra

Pittsburgh nightlife will soon come alive with an exciting new – and unusual – pairing.

On August 19, The Moment, a visionary arts collective, will present what they claim is the world’s first-ever live DJ set accompanied by a 40-piece orchestra. Founder Joe Maggiore, who also owns Conduction, a software allowing DJs and musicians to play together, says he created these programs to help nightlife become more inspiring.

A white arm reaches to adjust a setting on a colorful lit-up DJ sounding board
The Moment will bring together DJs and a live orchestra // Photo courtesy of Conduction

“I’ve always had this vision of ‘Why aren’t there nightclubs that are really magical and awe-inspiring?’ and I always had this one specific idea of a show,” Maggiore says. “Imagine if you could take the same incredible energy that a live music group has and then combine that with the energy of what happens at an EDM festival.”

Maggiore took that idea, ran with it, and created The Moment. The event features four DJs, all of whom had to submit original compositions and mixes, and, after just one rehearsal together, the orchestra and DJs will perform at the This Is Red space, a former Slovakian church that’s been transformed into a space for events like concerts, parties, and more.

DJs for the event include Maggiore, Pittsburgh-area freelance producer and engineer Joey Fenniello, Software Engineer for Conduction David Mash, and Senior UI/UX Design Manager of Conduction Bear Simsek.

A white man with short brown hair, a beard and mustache, yellow-tinted glasses, a black t-shirt, and a dark suit jacket holds a drink in his hand while standing amid a room full of people
The Moment Founder Joe Maggiore // Photo courtesy of Conduction

“The first rehearsal is happening five days before the show, and it’s partially intentionally like that because, during the show, it’s going to look totally different than it’s going to look during rehearsal,” Maggiore says. “The DJ might perform one set at the rehearsal and then a totally different set at the show, so there’s only so much we can actually rehearse with this.”

The Moment is in touch with almost 200 musicians, according to Maggiore, many of whom are students at Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University, which makes the orchestra local to Pittsburgh. He says they had a lot of interest in being a part of the show.

During the performance, like a conductor, the DJ will make decisions based on its orchestra. Only this time, some musicians may be playing an entirely different song than others.

“You are going to see the DJ make game-time decisions of ‘OK, I want to go from this song into this next song, and I’m going to mix it in this way,’” Maggiore says. “You might see these moments where some of the musicians are playing one song, and some of them are playing a totally different song.”

Maggiore says to come “expecting to dance.”

A purple-lit room full of musicians and DJs
The Moment will bring together DJs and a live orchestra // Photo courtesy of Conduction

“What you can kind of expect is you’re going to see 40 musicians, and they’re going to all have an iPad in front of each of them,” Maggiore says. “Then at the head of all this, kind of where the conductor would be, is going to be a DJ, and that DJ will be using a laptop with a touchscreen monitor and live mixing the orchestra.”

Like many of the musicians and DJs, Maggiore says he’s excited to see how their first big performance goes.

“In a way, this is a real big test of what in a nightclub setting works the best,” he says. “There’s so much learning that we’re going to do, and we want to get as many musicians as humanly possible interested in this.”

Those attending the August 19 performance will also get the chance to hear the announcement of their next event. Maggiore hopes to have even more musicians and audience members for future shows.

The Moment. Sat., Aug. 19 from 8-10:30 p.m. This is Red. 605 East Ninth Ave., Munhall.


Event Preview