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By Karen Hendricks, PR/Marketing Director 

Kevin Eubanks signed off from the Tonight Show with Jay Leno at the end of May, after playing with the band for 18 years, 15 of which were spent as bandleader.  He jokingly said, “After 18 years of playing America into commercials, I’m gonna go somewhere where I can finish a song.” 

The Gettysburg Festival is pleased to be the venue for one of his first post-NBC performances.  I had the opportunity to ask Eubanks a few questions about the next phase of his career:

Q:  As a performer in Gettysburg, you’ll need to recite Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address during your performance.  (just kidding)  But just wondering, do you have an appreciation for history?

Eubanks on The Jay Leno Show

When you look at the medical history of a person you can better understand their current situation. In many ways the history of a country is no different. Imagine having no idea what happened prior to waking up this morning. Might be a very long day. I love history. It allows you to have such a greater appreciation for everything around you.

Q:  We are honored to host your performance at Gettysburg Festival as one of your first concert appearances, post-NBC.  What have you been up to since leaving The Tonight Show and what are your future plans?

I’m looking forward to releasing a new CD in the fall and begin touring. I miss seeing different people and places around the world. Some of the music will be featured at the Gettysburg Festival. I’m developing a cooking show that will encourage everyday people to take control of what goes into their bodies and hopefully get everyone to understand that food is the first and oldest medicine in the world. I also will continue to work in support of arts programs in our public schools via the Monk Institute. And of course I will continue to support all the sports teams from Philadelphia, even when we trade our elite quarterback to a team in the same division.

Q:  Jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli performs at Gettysburg Festival the night before your concert.  I have heard that Pizzarelli really exemplifies the East Coast style of guitar playing, while you truly represent the West Coast style.  What does this mean—can you explain this?

I have no idea what this means. Especially since I grew up in Philly, Boston and New York. It’s amazing how we love to divide things, people, countries, anything we can get our hands on and even music into various categories. I don’t see what good comes from it. I love music no matter what coast or country in comes from. When it comes from the heart and soul of a person it touches everyone everywhere.

Q:  What can Festival-goers expect at your performance June 26?

Original music. Rather energetic and heartfelt. It’s wonderful to be able to share what one loves and is passionate about with other people. So bring your good times with you and let’s have some fun.

Join Kevin Eubanks at the 2010 Gettysburg Festival Main stage at 8:00PM on June 26, 2010.  Tickets: Lawn seating $25; Reserved seats $40.  To order tickets call the Majestic Theater at 717.337.8200.

By Rachel Wynn, PR & Marketing Intern

Last blog we got to know a little bit about violinist Elaine Kang. This time we’re going to learn about Kathryn Westerlund, another talented Pennsylvania student musician being featured on From the Top.

Kathryn, 13,  is a from Lebanon, PA and has been homeschooled all her life; however, she attends the Pennsylvania Academy of Music three times a week for private lessons with her instructor Sara Male. Her specialty is the cello, which she has played since she was just three years old! Kathryn plays in the Pennsylvania Academy of Music Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as chamber music ensembles.

Below is the interview with Kathryn and her family. 

Q:Why did you choose Sonata in D Minor, 2nd Movement by Shostakovich? Does it have a special meaning to you?

A: I played it last year in a concert and I already had a recording of it, but I love the piece for the excitement and energy.

Q: Do you ever get stage fright? What do you focus on when you’re in front of an audience?

A:I get a little nervous, but not too bad.

Q: In addition to the cello, do you play any other instruments?

A: I like the piano just as much as I like the cello.

Q: What is your favorite TV show? Favorite Movie?

A: I don’t really watch much TV.  But I love the Harry Potter books, so the Harry Potter movie series is my favorite.

Q: Do you enjoy being homeschooled?  Do you feel as though you are able to dedicate more time to your passions?

A: Yes, I like being homeschooled. I have a lot more free time, and I like it that way. My dad teaches me math and my mom covers the other subjects

Q: Do you have any siblings? Are they also musically gifted?

A: No, but I like being an only child.

Q: What aspirations do you have for the future? Do you plan to attend college or a full time music school?

A: I want to be a musician, so I’d like to play the cello in an orchestra after going to a good music school.

Q: If you had an entire day to do whatever you wanted, how would you spend your time?

A: I would wake up, eat breakfast, practice the cello, eat lunch, then practice the piano, and finally I’d do some schoolwork or go to the Pennsylvania Academy of Music where I take classes.

Q: Do you regularly listen to the show From the Top?

A: I’ve heard it before on TV and I like the program. I applied to From the Top because I heard it was in Gettysburg. 

Q: What did you think when they notified you and told you that you’d made the show?

A: I was really excited; it’s such a cool thing to be able to do!

 

Questions for Parents

Q: What did you think when Kathryn first asked for a cello at such a young age?

A: I wasn’t surprised at all. I’m also a musician and when I was pregnant with Kathryn I could tell she loved music because whenever it was playing around me, she would get very active in my stomach. When I was six months pregnant with her I’d go to a music workshop and every time I played the saxophone she’d start kicking!

Q: Did you see a natural talent in her?

A: It was apparent very early on; as soon as she could talk she would sing all around the house. At eighteen months she’d sing the Alphabet song backwards in the bathtub. She wanted to learn how to play music at the age of two and so we enrolled her at the Suzuki School for Strings.

Q: Can you remember or pinpoint a time when she was first interested in the cello? Did she learn quickly, or were there many screeching sounds at first?

A: She first became interested in the cello at the age of three and had her first recital a few months later. When we would leave the Suzuki School she would always have to kiss the cello goodbye!

Q: Why did you decide to home school Kathryn?

A: We never thought about homeschooling. But there were several reasons why it became clear that it was the best option for her. She began reading at the age of three and was way ahead of preschool; we thought that if we sent her to school, she wouldn’t be able to progress as quickly. We also noticed that she had a knack for music and we could tell that it was what she loved. She was very patient and determined when learning something new, she’d play and play until she got it exactly right. If she was in school she wouldn’t have been able to have as much time pursuing her passion.
Q: What is your dream for Kathryn?

A: For her to be who she wants to be. We want her to realize her talent is a gift, and that by playing she is giving a gift to other people.

Q: What goes through your mind when you hear and see Kathryn on stage?

A: I’m proud, but also a wreck. I always sit there with knots in my stomach wondering if she will get through it, although I really shouldn’t worry so much. I think I’m more nervous than her because I want it to go well for her. There’s a rock in my stomach until she’s finished and then I can take a sigh of relief.

Q: What does it mean to see Kathryn achieve placement on the show From the Top?

A: We are really excited. My husband and I had talked about it for years, we’d seen it on TV and say, “oh Kathryn knows how to play that, and wouldn’t that be fun for her?” When we heard it was in Gettysburg, we thought, why not send in a tape!

The Gettysburg Festival wishes Kathryn and all From the Top performers best wishes for a successful performance.  The Festival’s live taping is sponsored by media partner WITF and the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.

By Rachel W. Wynn, PR & Marketing Intern

When I was a child my mom would sit me down at the piano and try to teach me the notes and keys. My legs swinging, we would play “Heart & Soul” over and over again. However, that’s as far as I got in my music career. My patience would quickly wear thin and thus I’d scurry off and bury my nose in a great book, the first chance I got.

Below are the short bios of two musicians who have such amazing talent and patience that they, at the ages of thirteen and sixteen, have already mastered their respective instruments.

Gettysburg Festival's "From the Top" takes place at the Majestic Theater

The Gettysburg Festival is pleased to have PA residents Kathryn Westerlund and Elaine Kang along with other young talented musicians grace the Majestic Theater stage this Friday, June 18 to kick off the Festival’s 2010 performance schedule. The performers all applied to From the Top, a nationally-broadcast, classical music radio program hosted by Christopher O’Riley. This NPR Radio Program heard throughout Central PA on WITF 89.5FM focuses on showcasing gifted young musicians from 8-18 years old.

Kathryn, 13, is from Lebanon, PA and has been homeschooled all her life; however, she attends the Pennsylvania Academy of Music three times a week for private lessons with her instructor Sara Male. Her specialty is the cello, which she has played since she was just three years old! Kathryn plays in the Pennsylvania Academy of Music Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as chamber music ensembles.

Elaine, 16, is from Port Matilda, PA and attends State College Area High School. Elaine’s primary instrument is the violin, which she has studied for 11 years.  She plays in her High School Orchestra and has performed with a string quartet at the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview these two talented young women and their families. Below you can view the Q & A to our conversations. Part 1 of this blog will contain the interview with Elaine Kang; Part 2 will have the interview with Kathryn Westerlund.

Elaine Kang

 

Q: I see that you will be performing Carmen Fantasy by Sarasate; does this piece have a special meaning to you?

A: I’ve always liked pieces with layer and spire (peak points); they are exciting to hear and play. The piece is adapted from one of the main songs of the opera Carmen. Carmen is also the main character who is really gifted and talented.

Q: Do you ever get stage fright? What do you focus on when you’re in front of an audience?

A: Every musician has stage fright. It freaks you out to look at the audience, all you see are their eyes staring at you. So I just close my own eyes and breathe. It’s important to remember to breathe; when I was younger I’d do a whole song in one breath and at the end I’d take a huge gasp of air and the audience would laugh.

Q: In addition to the violin do you play any other instruments?

A: I used to play the piano but it was hard to balance with school and the violin practice. I wanted to concentrate my efforts into one instrument and get good at it. For me, there is something about the sound of the violin; I like string instruments in general and they seem to convey emotion better.

Q: What is your favorite TV show?  Favorite movie?

A: I really like Ghost Whisperer, and also Supernatural.  My favorite movies are Batman: The Dark Knight and The Blind Side.

Q: I understand you also enjoy ice skating. Are their similarities between these two interests, music and ice skating?

A: Yes, with skating there is gliding, jumping, and footwork which is like the violin. Gliding is the pulling of the bow across the strings, jumping is with the hands, and the footwork is the intricacy if the notes. Also, Carmen is a popular song in ice skating right now.

Q: Do you have any siblings? Are they also musically gifted?

A: I’ve always wanted an older brother, he’d be like a guardian.

Q: What aspirations do you have for the future? Do you plan to attend college or a full time music school?

A: I’m actually fascinated with science, I’ve always loved it. I want to go to college and be a double major of science and music.

Q: If you had an entire day to do whatever you wanted, how would you spend your time?

A: I really like eating! My mom’s a great cook and so I’d spend a good part of the day doing that. I would also play violin or listen to music; music is just a huge part of my life. I’d also walk around outside with friends outside, I love outdoors and going camping.

Q: Do you regularly listen to the show “From the Top”?

A: I have listened to the show a lot; it’s pretty popular in my community. Although the local radio doesn’t carry program, so have to listen to it out of town or online.

Q: What did you think when they notified you and told you that you’d made the show?
 

A: Oh my gosh! Was my first reaction. I was so so excited; it’s a breakthrough in my musical career! I think it will be the worst stage fright so far. But I’ll just relax and be Carmen.

I also enjoyed talking with Elaine’s parents about their daughter’s incredible talent:

Q: What did you think when Elaine first became interested in the violin?

A: She was at a friend’s house when she was four years old, and she saw a cello asked to try it. I thought she was too young, but she kept insisting. So I enrolled her in lessons at the Suzuki School for Strings.

Q: Did you see a natural talent in her?

A: No not at first; I think she was too young for us to tell. But she loves music. When we’d go to restaurants when she was younger there would sometimes be classical music playing and she seemed to really enjoy it and get attached to it.

Q: Can you remember or pinpoint a time when she was first interested in the violin? Did she learn quickly, or were there many screeching sounds at first?

A: It took her about 3-4 months to learn; it was hard for us to be patient. But finally she got the rhythm and the music started at age 6 or 7.

Q: What is your dream for Elaine?

A: We don’t have specific occupations for her in mind, it’s her life. But we want her to have a job where she will be happy to go to work every day, and so far she’s happy with her choices in science and music. Her goal for music is to play in a string quartet or piano trio.

Host of "From the Top," Christopher O'Riley, photo credit: Wendy Lynch

Q: What goes through your mind when you hear and see Elaine on stage?

A: It’s actually really hard, I’m nervous for her, maybe even more nervous than her! I have a hard time enjoying it, even after she started competing, because I’m so anxious.

Q: What does it mean to see Elaine achieve placement on the show “From the Top”?

A: It’s almost like a dream to be on the show! When I got the call I couldn’t believe it, I texted her at school and she called me back so excited! It’s an honor for her to play with Christopher O’Riley

Q: Have you been to Gettysburg before?

A: No, it will be the first time for my husband and I, Elaine has been a few times with school when she was younger. 

Check in soon for Part 2 of “Playing With String” featuring Kathryn Westerlund!

Tickets to NPR’s From the Top Concert are available online at www.gettysburgfestival.org or by calling the Majestic Theater at 717.337.8200. The show is sponsored by media partner WITF and the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.

By Cary Burkett, Host of WITF’s Classical Air

I stepped out on the stage with a microphone in one hand, and a carefully organized stack of notes on a clipboard in the other. The notes contained tidbits of information about the extraordinary young classical artists I would be interviewing on the stage.  The occasion was the Rising Stars Concert at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music which took place just a few weeks ago. The performers were all students at the academy who had been chosen through audition to be showcased in this special concert. I was the host, taking on the role that Christopher O’Riley performs every week on the popular NPR radio program, From the Top.

I had my list of questions for each young performer, to hopefully elicit interesting comments and conversation, but I wasn’t sure what kind of responses to expect. I knew that I had to be ready to go with the flow and allow things to be spontaneous. Inside I felt a few butterflies myself, wondering if things might become awkward or stilted in the interviews. I needn’t have worried. These young students, for all their exceptional talent and training, demonstrated just how down-to-earth and natural they could be. Warm, funny, passionate, creative, they displayed unique personalities but also showed such common human traits that made us all think to ourselves, “Why, they’re just ordinary kids.”  And then they performed with dazzling musical skill which took our collective breath away.

Kathryn Westerlund

There was a moment of note when I introduced the 13-year old cellist, Kathryn Westerlund from Cornwall. I had just received word, and was able to announce publicly for the first time, that Kathryn had just been chosen to appear as a performer on From the Top at the Gettysburg Festival. A ripple of appreciation went through the audience. They understood the achievement of having been selected out of nationwide auditions to appear on this NPR radio program.

Every week Christopher O’Riley has an experience similar to that which I had on the night of the Rising Stars concert. He chats with these young musicians and we get a glimpse of their human, everyday side. Then we see their talent and their passion displayed in remarkable performances. These young artists will go on to musical careers in a wide variety of genres. Some will become solo concert artists. Others will perform in orchestras throughout the country, in symphonic halls, Broadway shows, small groups of players and ensembles of all types.

The real Christopher O'Riley

From the Top entertains us on different levels. There’s the fun and humor of the interviews and sketches, and the spectacular musical performances. But also there is the knowledge that we’re watching the beginning stages of careers that will have an impact on music in years to come. That makes the show carry an excitement beyond the enjoyment of what is happening onstage.

I’m looking forward to sitting in the audience watching how Christopher O’Riley interacts with the young artists when From the Top comes to the Gettysburg festival.  But when Kathryn Westerlund from Cornwall takes the stage with him, I won’t be able to resist a certain inner satisfaction that I actually got to interview her before he did.

Come one and all to SEE, HEAR, LEARN AND HAVE FUN!!

SEE~~ Plein Air Artists painting throughout the town and on the Battlefield; Ageless Expressions from artistic seniors; Unbridled Fine Art with a party on the porch; Five Guys, Fifty Artworks; Beautiful Surroundings; The Salon des Refusés; The Debut of the Civil War 150 Project; and the Art Market. Artistic awakenings! 

Michael P. Ryan Band

HEAR~~music at the Rec Park Amphitheater with 3 young bands: Audacity, Fean & The Earaches and a repeat performance by Fean as Tipton’s Grill PresentsA Gilbert and Sullivan Hoedown at the Historic Round Barn; Acoustic Guitars with songwriters DeRose & McCormick and the Michael P. Ryan Band at the Ragged Edge; and One More Time on the porch of the Gettysburg Hotel. Also appearing are Civil War Bands: Band of the California Battalion and 2nd South Carolina String Band. The Historic Gettysburg Railroad Station Pavilion hosts two concerts: The Gettysburg Big Band and the Gettysburg Civic Chorus. A special tribute to our Greatest Generation and a gospel concert are part of the God & Country Weekend.

Christ Lutheran Church, Gettysburg

LEARN~~throughout our historic community. Visit the Historic Round Barn’s Music & Machines and the Historic GAR Building’s BarnArt Exhibit; stroll through the downtown on the Historic Church Walking Tours; enjoy Candlelight at Christ Church with Songs and Stories of a Civil War Hospital; and attend book signings by Will Hutchison. Demonstrations fascinate at the HACC campus Folk Art Festival and The Spirited Ladies Shoppe. Sharpen your culinary skills at Grilling on the Range and Cooking with Wine.

FUN~~ with theater & dance: British Invasion by the  Gettysburg Dance Studio, Children’s Theatre Fest at ACSMT, Greater Tuna by Gettysburg Stage, Mamie Remembers Gettysburg, Bill and Art’s Cabaret, and the YWCA Spirit of Gettysburg Post Race Party.  Pet the Alpaca and watch the Amazing Horse with a Human Brain. Stroll the Saturday Garden Tour with master gardeners and the Gettysburg Art and Craft Show.

ENJOY~~ The Gettysburg Fringe Festival!!

The Fringe Festival Committee:  Phyllis Netherland, Coordinator; Jane Jones, Bill Leslie, Joan Chick, Holly Fox, Brenda McCabe, Ruthmary McIlhenny, Judy Pyle and Ann Walsh

Click here for more details on the 2010 Fringe Festival events

 

By Lyndsey Ford, Gettysburg Festival Intern, Harrisburg Area Community College

Zesty Salsa! Ole!

An authentic taste of the Southwest here in Pennsylvania? And using PA products? I can vouch for it – it truly happened at the Gettysburg Festival’s “Culinary Adventure.”

The exquisite setting was the estate of Mike and Jane Rice in New Oxford, on May 22, 2010.  I partook in some of the finest food that PA has to offer. And let me tell you that PA has a lot to offer in ways we may not even think of. As the only Pennsylvania arts Festival that includes the culinary arts as part of its interdisciplinary events, the Gettysburg Festival highlights cuisine and PA food in a way no other Arts Festival can.

Shrimp: From Shellfish to the Shell of a Taco

“A Culinary Adventure” incorporated local PA produce and products, from trout to cheese to mushrooms, with the cuisine of the world. Under the direction of former White House Executive Chef and Culinary Arts Director of the Gettysburg Festival, Chef Walter Schieb, the fundraiser included such diverse cuisine as Caribbean, Asian, Continental and the American Southwest. Each station consisted of a unique menu from each of the four PA Iron Chefs. For me the highlight of the evening was the American Southwest station (the shrimp tacos were so good I had to go back for seconds instead of more dessert). The station truly blended our own PA cuisine into innovative and imaginative southwestern dishes. Iron Chef team leader Mark Pawlowski managed to highlight PA products such as rabbit, mushrooms and vegetables of every kind, in his interpretation of gazpacho, rabbit confit and even black bean chili.

The Festival fundraiser highlighted why the culinary arts are as much a part of the arts as every other genre we showcase here at the upcoming June Gettysburg Festival. From downhome style BBQ at the June 25 Blues, Beer and BBQ event to the steakhouse feel at Hauser Estate Winery at our Steakhouse with a View event on June 23. The lineup shows just how varied and broad the culinary arts can be. And don’t forget… it truly is an art form! Case in point, check out Food  Network star and Chef James Parker who will be showcasing his “Veggy Art” at the Edible Art Tour during the first night Festival kickoff on June 18.

This year’s Gettysburg Festival Fundraiser was a rousing success on many levels. But as a “foodie” I think it especially demonstrates why the culinary arts holds its own as an art form. This year I look forward to continuing to work behind the scenes as a Festival intern and a culinary liaison during ten amazing events. Take some time to peek at the menus and unique locations, then join us here this year from June 18 to June 27 to experience the civil, and culinary, side of the Festival. Bon Appetite!

"Men in White"... Chef Walter Scheib introduces the four PA Iron Chefs

By Miriam Grinberg

As a former intern and current volunteer for the Gettysburg Festival, I have been lucky enough to attend the Festival’s “Culinary Adventure” at the Rice Estate in Hanover for two years in a row. Both years I have been charged with the job of helping people find the various food stations and navigating around Jane and Mike Rice’s enormous house. And what a job it is! Being able to sneak in and sample some of the delicacies prepared this year by the Pennsylvania Iron Chefs against the background of sculpture gardens, beautiful rooms, and scenic courtyards was simply heavenly. From noodles to lobster flan to mint chocolate pastries, everything was exquisitely presented and cooked – not to mention it tasted amazing!

My personal favorite of the five stations featured throughout the evening was Station 4, the Asian station, manned by PA Iron Chef James Batterson. Batterson is the Banquet Sous Chef from the local Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America – something wholly evident by the delectable dishes he created for the fundraiser. From spicy crab wraps to sushi to Thai chicken satay, there was a little something available for everyone’s tastes. All were presented beautifully, and some dishes – like the soba noodle salad – with a dash of good humor, the noodles nestled inside a stereotypical Chinese takeout container with chopsticks poking out from the top.

Ahhh the Seared Ahi Tuna

Of the six assorted samplings, I especially took to the seared Ahi tuna and grilled chicken satay. The tuna, topped with citrus tobiko (Japanese for flying fish roe) and a wasabi vinaigrette, was flavorful without being too sweet or salty, and was a perfect complement for the spicier sushi and crab wraps also on offer. The grilled satay, dipped in trademark Thai peanut sauce, were presented kebab-style on sticks for easy access and eating, and I freely admit to grabbing two or three while in the vicinity of the station. The chicken was moist and sweetened just the right amount by the peanut sauce, leaving a delicious aftertaste lingering on my tongue.

Between Batterson’s gourmet delights and the four other remarkable stations featured at the Estate, I can say quite assuredly that I left with a full stomach and a smile on my face!

"Rocker" by Joseph Cashore. Photo credit: John Mainka.

By:  Christianna Giordano, Gettysburg Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010

This year the Festival will feature the unique theatre art of marionettes for the first time. These puppets will be featured in two performances by Joseph Cashore, Simple Gifts and Life in Motion. Cashore moves these puppets with renowned precision and life that leaves audiences members of both children and adults alike, in awe and amazement.

Joseph Cashore will be introducing the art of marionettes to the Gettysburg Festival, but this type of puppetry has a long history dating back to as early as 2000 BC. Used to entertain audiences in ancient Egypt and perform Shakespeare’s plays in England, marionettes have certainly evolved through the ages.

Today, marionettes have become part of a popular trend of perceived child’s toys being used to entertain adults. From puppets to comic books, adults have been attracted more and more to these once childhood pastimes. In America, we have seen the trend of puppetry portray itself recently in both Broadway musicals and featured films. In June 2003, Avenue Q opened on Broadway, bringing puppets to the stage in a hilarious show about a Princeton grad and his newfound friends (both human and puppet) struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life.  In 2004, Paramount Pictures released “Team America” a film featuring a full marionette cast. Both of these very comedic performances are prime examples of the evolution of puppets through the years.  The Gettysburg Festival is excited to share this magical and historical form of entertainment during the 2010 Festival!