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By Christianna Giordano, Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010, Business Management Major, Film Minor

Joseph Cashore created his first marionette from clothespins, string, wood and a tin can. Today, his marionettes move with the ease of any human actor, controlled by up to thirty strings attached to elaborate mechanical devices.  In his program Life in Motion, a series of thirteen short skits, Cashore gives Americans their first experience in mature-audiences puppetry. Including scenes from everyday life set to extraordinary music by composers Beethoven, Vivaldi, Strauss and Copland, Cashore’s performance leaves audiences basking not only in the complexities and richness of everyday life but in amazement of his marionette illusions of life.

Marionettes, puppets controlled by wires and strings, have facial expressions that never change. This fact is truly amazing considering Cashore’s talent for portraying human emotions so thoroughly and vividly. Marionettes dates back to Egyptian times, and have been used across the ages in Shakespeare’s plays and present day films. Regardless of this fact, the art of puppetry is often regarded as children’s theatre. Joseph Cashore has taken on and succeeded in the challenge of reaching adult audiences in this capacity. In a short question and answer session, Joseph Cashore discusses his Life in Motion piece and why he thinks adults are drawn into these amazing marionette performances.

Question: What was your inspiration in creating Life in Motion, a program that is geared largely towards adults who are not usually the target audience for marionette programs?

Cashore: I’ve never considered myself primarily a children’s performer. I’ve tried to create marionette pieces that I myself would like to see. I think that the art form of the marionette has the power to express, in a unique way, a broad range of themes, both serious and comic. This power has gone largely untapped.

Question: What element of Life in Motion do you think creates the major attraction for adults?

Cashore: Both the quality of the production, the very strong illusion that the marionettes are alive, and the significance and universality of the themes expressed provide adult audiences with a rich and entertaining experience that they can relate to. This production is unlike anything they have seen.

Question: What element of Life in Motion do you personally most enjoy?

Cashore: I enjoy the element of surprise when the audience is experiencing something which they had not anticipated, whether it be laughter or a serious moment. Also, I enjoy the feeling of communion when everyone in the room is feeling the same thing at the same time with the same intensity through the medium of the marionette.

The Gettysburg Festival will feature Life in Motion on Saturday, June 19, 7:30 p.m. at Kline Theatre on the Gettysburg College Campus. Visit the Gettysburg Festival website at www.gettysburgfestival.org  to purchase tickets and for more information on Joseph Cashore’s children’s production, Simple Gifts.

 Look for my next blog on the wonder of marionettes which will feature the intricacies and histories of these amazing puppets, their similarities to Muppets, comic books and their appearances in present day movies! An interesting fact to keep you interested until then…. Marionettes have been found beside mummies in ancient Egyptian tombs!

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By Arden Bortzfield, WITF Marketing & Promotions

This year, Gettysburg Festival and WITF have the distinct pleasure of hosting NPR’s From the Top in Central PA.  This popular radio program is giving young classical musicians the opportunity to appear on a critically acclaimed music program.  From the Top will record an episode of the show at the Gettysburg Festival on opening day, Friday, June 18, at the beautiful Majestic Theater.  The show will be broadcast on WITF media and on NPR-affiliated stations across the country, airing in September.

The Gettysburg Festival and WITF especially encourage young musicians in this region to audition for the chance to perform on this local episode of From the Top.  All classical artists are encouraged to apply by submitting the application available at fromthetop.org. With talented host Christopher O’Riley as their mentor, musicians are in for the experience of a lifetime. 

Alice Ivy Pemberton Performs on Show 174 with Host Christopher O'Riley

Even though there isn’t a set application “deadline” for the Gettysburg Festival program, the show’s producers will be determining the performing lineup soon, so don’t delay in sending in your auditions.  Applications are received and reviewed on a rolling basis from around the country, but the producers certainly like to feature as many local and regional kids as possible on the programs.

From the Top is one of the most well-known classical music programs on radio today.  The program is broadcast nationwide on nearly 250 radio stations and garners an audience of more than 700,000 listeners a week!  From the Top is hosted by world-renowned pianist Christopher O’Riley who gives young musicians the opportunity to showcase their artistic talent.

Here’s the link to From the Top’s website, for more information or to apply!  Click here to read more about Gettysburg Festival’s From the Top taping, including ticketing information.  And finally… we leave you with a fun clip from a recent episode:

By Jennifer Spindler, Gettysburg Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010, Art History Major

The Brafferton Inn, 44 York Street

On a beautiful Friday morning, I walked over to Gettysburg’s York Street in order to visit an upcoming Gettysburg Festival gallery location–the historic Brafferton Inn. It is a tall stone building with a heavy set door and intricate molding. Inside, it has a very quaint and relaxed atmosphere, with a long hall that opens on the left into a sitting room with a large window. Keith Rocco’s artwork adorns every wall, with various Civil War oriented paintings–some that are close ups of figures and some that are battle scenes. After talking to owner Brian Hodges, I learned that the inn was built in 1786, the oldest house in downtown Gettysburg, a fact which is underlined by its antique interior. 

Keith Rocco, Marshall's Crossroads-Charge of the 2nd WV Cavalry

During the Festival’s History Meets the Arts events, the dining room will be used as an additional gallery.  This fascinating room has a mural painted around the walls, depicting several of Gettysburg’s recognizable buildings, including Penn Hall from Gettysburg College! Very nice. One of my favorite Keith Rocco paintings is hanging up in the front hall on the left, Pickett’s Charge.  It is highly dramatic with each soldier showing his determination to fight. It is the facial expressions of the figures that bring the painting to life. The painting is large; 30 X 46 inches and its size makes it very powerful. It is the perfect piece to put in the front hall of a gallery.

Overall, the inn is quite lovely and cozy. I want to stay there…maybe when I am older and have a salary. There are still rooms available for the Festival as well if you are interested! Word on the street from a friend who has stayed there is that they serve the best breakfast in town.

By Buzz Jones, Festival Artistic Director for Jazz, and Professor of Music at Gettysburg College

I remember well John Pizzarelli’s first visit to Gettysburg in May 2007.  John got into town about 2 pm to rehearse with my big band at the Majestic. We had a great time going through the charts John Clayton had arranged for his Dear Mr. Sinatra release in 2006. It was a magical night of music-making enjoyed by everyone in attendance. His tongue-in-cheek I Love Jersey Best was hilarious!

John is the consummate New York jazz musician with an incredible command of the Great American Songbook and, of course, jazz guitar.  We ended up hanging out at the Lincoln Diner until 2 am. I remember John saying “I’d love to come back sometime… what a beautiful theater and your musicians were great.”  So… he’s back with his NYC quartet for a June 25 performance featuring a wonderful assortment of jazz standards and new music from his just-released CD Rockin In Rhythm: A Tribute to Duke Ellington, plus a few tunes from his Richard Rodgers tribute CD With A Song In My Heart…. check out Johnny One Note from the 1937 musical Babes in Arms

Remember the classic Nat “King” Cole tune, Route 66?  Click here for a YouTube clip of John Pizzarelli’s fun rendition.

John Pizzarelli

Joe McCarthy of Afro Bop Alliance - with his Latin Grammy!

I talked with lots of folks at the ’09 festival who wanted to hear some Latin jazz so Afro Bop Alliance will be with us for a June 24 performance.  We are offering this as a FREE performance at the Festival Main Stage.  The group is an Afro Cuban septet of Washington, DC’s leading Latin jazz musicians.  They collaborated with vibraphonist Dave Samuels a few years back and won the 2008 Grammy for best Latin Jazz album. I brought them to Gettysburg College for a Brown Bag Jazz event about five years ago and the students loved them. The band’s 2007 release Camina Nuevo is one of my favorites and will give you the flavor of ABA’s tight ensemble playing and fiery solos.  Former White House Chef Walter Scheib is even putting together a spicy Caribbean Cookout in conjunction with the concert, so join us that night for great music AND a food fest!  

Caribbean Cookout tickets will be on sale soon, but in the meantime save the dates, June 24 and June 25, and reserve your tickets for John Pizzarelli at the Majestic Theater, (717) 337-8200.