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Karen was thrilled to meet jazz singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli during the 2010 Festival

By Karen Hendricks, PR/Marketing Director

It’s hard to describe the euphoria that surrounds the entire ten day Festival period.  But now that the calendar has turned to July and the proverbial dust has settled from Festival activity, I’m going to attempt to put into words, some of the “behind-the-scenes” highlights of the 2010 Festival.

Festival Artistry: 

At least a year’s worth of planning, promoting and even a touch of dreaming, goes into each and every Festival event.  To actually witness the performances and exhibits happening… is tingling at times.  Meeting the amazingly talented “kids” featured on NPR’s From the Top was both awe-inspiring and very real.  The show touts the talents of “cream of the crop” classically-trained young musicians who are “real” kids.  That point was brought home during an educational session the kids provided to the Gettysburg community at St. James Lutheran Church the day before the Festival, June 17.  As the kids

Kathryn Westerlund on cello... and featuring... Silly Bands!

in the audience stared wide-eyed and star-struck at the student performers including 13-year old cellist Kathryn Westerlund of Lebanon, PA, they also picked up on fun details such as a collection of popular Silly Bands adorning Kathryn’s wrist as she moved her bow across the strings.

It was an absolute thrill to meet two of the Festival’s highlight performers personally, because first and foremost, their talents were exceptional, and second, they were both so personable and friendly.  Jazz singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli charmed the June 25 audience at the Majestic Theater, then added icing to the cake during the post-performance “Martini Madness” reception to follow.  He even played a few acoustic tunes and further solidified his reputation as a class act. 

John Pizzarelli croons a few more numbers at "Martini Madness"

Likewise, the following evening, it was an absolute pleasure meeting guitarist Kevin Eubanks after his rip-roaring jam session/performance on stage.  Kevin took the time to sign autographs for every single audience member who lined up to request one following the show.  He even took the time to take photos including one with the Festival staff.  We enjoyed chatting with him, sharing a few laughs, and since some of his future plans include developing a vegetarian cooking show and or cookbook, Kevin agreed to come back next year and take part in a Festival culinary event! 

The personable Kevin Eubanks took time for a photo with Festival staff

Community Support: 

The outpouring of community support was overwhelming at times!  From the beautiful bag of Cameo Apples donated to the Friends of the Festival reception tent by local farm market Hollabaugh Brothers,

"Time for the Arts" - we adore Tony Messano's clockwork!

to the amazing news coverage of Festival artists by media sponsor WITF Radio and Television, we felt as though this third annual Festival was on the community’s radar screen as never before.  Artist Tony Messano stopped by a few days before the Festival with a beautiful clock he’d painted, complete with the Festival’s guitar themed logo, as a gift to the Festival office.  We were so touched, and we think of his generosity every time we see this one-of-a-kind clock now hanging on our office wall.

Volunteer Support: 

More than 100 volunteers came together to truly make this year’s Festival happen before our eyes.  Volunteer Carol McLain took on the awesome task of helping coordinate all volunteer efforts and she even snapped beautiful photos of the Festival everywhere she went.  Volunteer Lolly Polvinale provided invaluable volunteer power at the Children’s Arts Fair, donating fabric and other supplies along with her ingenious idea on how to bring an “Alice-in-Wonderland” themed tea party to life.  Another volunteer logged 68 miles on her vehicle while delivering Festival brochures far and wide.  Volunteers staffed each and every Festival event with bright smiles.  On behalf of the entire Festival staff, we were so proud and thankful for each and every volunteer! 

Arts Appreciation: 

Fanciful face painting at the Children's Arts Fair

The Festival’s opening event, the Children’s Arts Fair on June 18, made dozens of children’s faces light up with joy.  Whether they witnessed the magic of Marc Charisse on the Festival Main Stage, or they greeted “Alice in Wonderland,” created a colorful art project, or witnessed creation of a balloon sculpture by the award-winning Adventures in Fun balloon artists, it was a joy to see the next generation inspired by the arts. 

Festival Feedback:  Whether you attended one or ten Festival events, we’d love to hear from you.  Send us your memories, thoughts, ideas and personal experiences, even photos, from the 2010 Festival.  Send to:  Thanks and remember to save the dates for next year’s Festival:  June 17-26, 2011.

Coming soon:  More blog posts featuring memories, photos and behind-the-scenes info from the June 2010 Festival!