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Expect more “Redheads” to be walking the streets of Gettysburg after the Red Molly performance on Saturday, June 16, as that is what fans of the trio are called. This popular group performs gorgeous a cappella ballads, bluegrass-tinged folk and a touch of jazzy western swing all done up in three-part harmonies.

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A show of this authentic Americana, folk, bluegrass-influenced music always feels like a gathering of old friends sharing favorite songs and good times.  Between knocking out audiences from coast to coast, the trio found time to record three albums including 2008’s Love and Other Tragedies, which spent ten weeks in the Top 15 on the Americana Chart, and 2010’s James which logged four months in the Top 40 on the Americana Chart, peaking at #4, and landing at #23 in the year’sTop 100.

Opening for Red Molly will be Voxology, from our very own central PA region. A shining example of the contemporary folk tradition, the band has performed at festivals in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida and Utah, where they performed during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The show starts at 8pm, and tickets are $20/$26/$32. Reserve yours now at GettysburgFestival.org.

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By Karen Hendricks, PR/Marketing Director

The Festival’s new Executive Director, Beth Kirby, has spent the majority of her career working in the non-profit sector, primarily because “it’s a joy to work with people, especially people who are passionate about what they are doing.”

However, she still wasn’t quite prepared for the incredible buzz and electricity she felt running through the town of Gettysburg and created by the non-profit Gettysburg Festival during June of 2010.  Brand new to the community, she was thrilled to meet people involved in various Festival events, and was caught up in their excitement so much so that, as she began settling into the community, she also began anticipating the 2011 Gettysburg Festival.

“Last June, 2011, I took it all in, and I enjoyed the art scene, live music and outdoor venues,” said Kirby.  “All of the events, and all of the people involved in the events, were overwhelmingly positive with great things to say about the Festival.  Everyone was unified in their dedication to the organization’s mission.”

That experience laid a great groundwork for what was to follow this fall – the naming of Kirby as the Festival’s new Executive Director.

“I see the Festival as a product of great value, offering something of unique value—the arts—to the community as well as our visitors.  The challenge with any non-profit is to retain and even gain support while in a down economy.  Without state and federal funding, the Gettysburg Festival is not unlike other arts organizations who now are laying the groundwork of sponsorship and support in order to continue offering artistic events of quality. Personally, I feel that our Friends of the Festival membership is a vital and exciting form of support, offering people the chance to be a part of something they love and believe in.  The Festival also gives volunteers the amazing opportunity to be a part of the Festival and energize the town through the arts.”

As the Festival gears up for its banner 5th Annual Gettysburg Festival, June 8-17, 2012, Kirby looks forward to forging new friendships and partnerships.  “I’m not going to be behind my desk every day,” she explained.  “I’m going to be out in the community, meeting people and getting involved.”  Welcome, Beth Kirby.

Written By: Michael Laughlin,  Gettysburg Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010

I’m not sure that I have ever attended a festival of any type, let alone a fine arts festival. At least I can’t remember ever being at one. I say let alone a fine arts festival not because there is something wrong with the fine arts but because they were never really on my radar screen. Growing up I was always more interested in John Madden than Jean Valjean, Bruce Springsteen than Miles Davis and New York pizza than flambé. I was a product of the times perhaps.

So how does a Gettysburg College frat guy with no festival experience end up working for the fine arts Gettysburg Festival? Taking things a step further how could I possibly make a positive contribution? I guess the answer has more to do with serendipity, frat guys know big words too, than anything else. Checking emails one day I came across one about a marketing/pr internship with the Festival. Considering my mom had recently laid the guilt trip that I do nothing but hang out, waste my free time, and destroy my mind with video games/action movies, I decided to check it out. At least if I was involved with the Festival I could watch Die Hard in peace right? So after a phone call and a visit I began working at the Festival as an intern.

First day impressions –> I’m the only guy in the office but everyone is really nice and the work seems ok, I can handle this. Since the first day my impressions and experiences have changed dramatically. Now everyone yells at me and the chain they put on my ankle is really tight. Ok a poor attempt at humor but in all seriousness my experience has changed. I have had the opportunity to see the arts from a new perspective. I’ve been able to hear some jazz and see Lincoln artwork. Besides the exposure to new art I’ve been able to take a fresh look at what I’m already familiar with. For example instead of just focusing on Bruce I’ve started listening to Clarence Clemons. Clemons is the sax player in Bruce’s E-Street Band but has a solo rock/jazz/funk style of his own. Perhaps Miles Davis is the next step.

I’d like to think my internship has been mutually beneficial. In addition to other responsibilities I’ve played a large role in trying to bring a younger demographic to the Festival. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on meetings and give input of my own. Input on what someone my age is probably interested in, how much they will spend on a specific event and what’s going to make them stop playing video games and come to the Festival. I’ve been focusing on event ideas that could bridge the gap between younger and older generations with something that appeals to both. Not an easy task. I think my input has been valuable for the staff in understanding what will and won’t bring the younger audience in. I’d like to expose some of the older attendees to some aspect of my generation and my experiences. The same way that my horizons have been broadened through the fine arts I feel others could have their horizons broadened by younger art. Even if they don’t consider it “art” right now. In the same process the younger attendees would be exposed, as I have been, to jazz, brass, theatre, culinary, and visual arts.

I think that is what the Gettysburg Festival is best at: exposing people to something new, blending old and new experiences for people of all demographics, and leaving them with a changed perspective. I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to both experience this firsthand and make a positive contribution in bringing it to others.

Bev Grazulewicz (center) enjoys a night at the Cabaret, with her daughter and friends, June 2009

By Beverly Grazulewicz, Festival Office Manager

My daughter called me recently from college and told me her professor asked her to start a blog about her experience in graduate school.  She asked me for my advice (not sure why) but I hope I gave her some thoughts on what a blog was intended to do which is basically to share information and start conversations.  Apparently her blog is off and running and hopefully she will enjoy the process. 

Well just imagine my surprise a few days later when my co-worker Karen Hendricks, the most masterful wordsmith I know, asked me if I would write a blog for our Festival website.  My first thought was to call my daughter for advice.  But then I decided I could handle this on my own.  After all, the topic she asked me to write about was one I was very familiar with – Friends!  More specifically, Friends of the Festival.   What a delightful topic. 

Friends of the Festival, Bob and Kim Krummerich, May 2009

Well, here you go.  My thoughts on the Gettysburg Festival and what our “Friends” mean to us. 

I began my career at the Gettysburg Festival quite innocently.  A good friend, Donna Nicholson, knew I was looking for something new to become involved with.  She suggested I come with her to volunteer at the office of the Gettysburg Festival.  While I had heard about the plans for this Festival, I wasn’t quite sure what it was all about but it certainly intrigued me.  What couldn’t be fun about a Festival?  So in I went to volunteer my services a few hours a week.  And what fun it was – crazy fun.  People coming and going in every direction and a schedule of events that I couldn’t believe.  Before I knew it I was “employed” by the Gettysburg Festival and the craziness became a part of my life. 

Soon it was July of 2008 and the inaugural ten-day festival was over.  The small staff was all relieved but this relief was short lived, because we knew that almost immediately we had to start planning for 2009.  One of the big things in the back of our mind was how to sustain a quality festival of this magnitude.  Many of our events are free and we wanted to maintain that.  During one of our brainstorming sessions about this, everyone started to mention that we recognized a lot of people at multiple events, some staying all day at the brass day, others at multiple theater events, many at both a dance event and also a children’s event.  These were obviously people who believed in what we were doing.  From this came the idea that they could become our “Friends” and the first Friend of the Festival campaign was launched in the fall of 2008.

Fun Times with Friends: "An American Culinary Adventure," May 2009

We were pleasantly surprised by the reaction to our first Friends of the Festival Campaign.  The financial support AND the very personal, supportive comments many people sent encouraged us that this Festival was indeed appreciated and wanted in our community. 

The 2009 Festival again surpassed our expectations, with over 100 events and a majority of them free thanks to the support of our generous sponsors and our “Friends.”  We enjoyed meeting many of our “Friends” at a special event held at the beginning of our Festival just for them and then seeing them throughout the Festival.  Each time we see them, we enjoy hearing what they like (and even what they don’t like) about the Festival.  After all, without these loyal attendees there would be no Festival. 

So now we are planning the 2010 Festival and again we are seeking the support of  Friends,” both new and “old.”  As a Friend of the Festival you are not only letting us know you enjoy the arts, you are also letting the community know you are aware of the benefits the arts play in our community’s economic structure.  I encourage you to take a look at the names on our 2009 Friends List (on our website).  You are sure to recognize many of them.  As we are now seeking our Friends for the 2010 Festival, we’d love to count you among our “Friends.”

Click on the “Support” page of the Festival website to become a Friend of the Festival today! 

karen croppedBy Karen Hendricks, Festival PR/Marketing Director

August 24, 2009

June’s exciting flurry of activity has mellowed into a leisurely pace of life at the Gettysburg Festival office (thank goodness!).  No, the entire staff has not disappeared, although we’ve all taken our turns at enjoying “down time” and re-charging our batteries with summer vacations and family time.  While we continue to tabulate and analyze valuable data collected at the Festival, we are excited to announce that 2009 Festival attendance grew by 20% over last year, as we welcomed 20,000 attendees from 22 states plus the District of Columbia.  Kudos and accolades continue to pour into our office, along with completed surveys, reports based upon intercept surveys, and notes taken during feedback meetings with all Festival Artistic Directors.  It’s almost as exciting as the actual Festival! 

While the statistics and data are concrete proof that the 2009 Festival was a success on many levels, the emotive aspects of the Festival also linger for me:  the memories from countless, excellent performances; wonderful conversations with both performers and attendees alike; and the out-pouring of support from volunteers and community members.  I was fortunate to enjoy many behind-the-scenes moments with performers such as James Earl Jones, and I’d like to share a few highlights here.

IMG_6595

James Earl Jones, following rehearsal with the Gettysburg Festival Orchestra, granted several media interviews and as a former reporter myself, I jotted down a number of Jones’ very moving and profound answers to the reporters’ questions:

What do you feel is the significance or legacy of Abraham Lincoln, whose words you will deliver, during Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait?  Jones:  “I don’t feel there were as many horrible times in history as our American Civil War and I question his assassination.  That set up his importance.  Booth’s aim was to set up the man who wanted to give my ancestors the right to vote.  It is perhaps because Lincoln was assassinated and taken from us that left his shadow so heavy on us…. he was the supreme common man… I think we all owe it to ourselves to ask what we would have done if we were Lincoln.”

What are your thoughts on the Civil War?  Jones:  “No one should ever understand war.  The men who fought it don’t often understand war.  What keeps men moving forward?  That the men beside you could be your brother or friend – that’s why they pressed on….  The Civil War took more lives than the sum of all the wars America fought.  That’s why we have to honor that war.”

You’ve performed A Lincoln Portrait before – it must be a piece that you enjoy.  Jones:  “There aren’t many of Lincoln’s words included in the work.  They are carefully selected – every word that Lincoln spoke is important.  I love the language of Lincoln and I love the grandeur of the music.  The maestro often has to bang on the podium to get my attention because I’m lost in the orchestra.  The Gettysburg Festival Orchestra is a beautiful orchestra.  The music is perfect and it’s a piece that works all over the world, but to do it here in Gettysburg – it’s special.”

IMG_6550The Festival’s June 19th performance of A Lincoln Portrait garnered positive reviews from the media and attendees:

“The performance was fantastic.  Getting to hear and see James Earl Jones perform in Gettysburg was simply inspiring.”  – Pat Crowner

“As usual, the Gettysburg Festival Orchestra is AMAZING!  I wish they played regular concerts in the park, on the college lawn, at the Majestic… anywhere.”  – Evangelina Rubalcava

“I’m really not one to get starstruck. But let me tell you, sitting 10 feet away from James Earl Jones last Friday at the Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg changed all of that. When Jones walked out onto the stage, all I could write in my notebook was ‘AAAAAAAA!’  If you’re wondering what it was that made me turn into a total tween, it was the main event of the Gettysburg Festival, an extravaganza of history, food and the arts, that kicked off last Thursday and runs through Sunday. This is only the festival’s second year, but when you’re there it’s hard to believe this thing hasn’t been going on since the days of Lincoln. It’s run THAT efficiently.”  -Alexis Dow, Harrisburg Patriot-News, June 25, 2009

Well, I don’t know about the last part of Ms. Dow’s quote, about the Festival running so efficiently, but I suppose we had our moments!  Case in point, one final memory that one of our volunteers shared in her post-Festival survey:

Share one highlight or standout Festival memory with us:  “Unquestionably, while I was working at the Festival office, tidying up the room in readiness for opening, attempting to hang several pictures on the wall.  A stranger came in and offered his help in hanging the photos and very expertly hung all of them, very well.  Was I surprised when I learned the “stranger” was actually our celebrity chef Walter Scheib!  Go figure!”  – Lolly O’Dea Polvinale

The fun memories linger… feel free to share yours by e-mailing them to me at pr@gettysburgfestival.org.

 

 

Festival Volunteer Lolly Polvinale always had a smile on her face!

Festival Volunteer Lolly Polvinale always had a smile on her face!

By Miriam B. Grinberg, Intern

When asked to write a blog about my observations of volunteers and their work during the Festival this morning, my first thought was: “How can I possibly summarize everything I want to say about these remarkable people in one little blog entry?!” An intimidating task, no doubt!

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was one word that could perfectly describe all the volunteers: generous. Many of them were returning “veterans” to the volunteer force, as Festival PR Director Karen Hendricks told me; they knew the ins and outs of the Festival, who to talk to, where to go, and, most importantly of all, the right attitude to have. New volunteers were just as enthusiastic as they learned all they could about the Festival, taking to heart everything that the Festival staff had gone over with them at volunteer orientations.

Volunteer Sue Currans staffs the Festival Information Tent at the Main Stage

Volunteer Sue Currans staffs the Festival Information Tent at the Main Stage

I got the chance to meet and talk to many of the volunteers myself, especially at the Festival Main Stage, where many of my surveying activities took place. Despite the sometimes stifling heat of June afternoons during the Festival, they really were some of the most pleasant and amiable people you could be with, and they often asked me about myself and what I was studying at Gettysburg College. Often times I found myself staying after my surveying duties were completed, continuing our conversations and helping out at the main information tent. Duties there mainly consisted of helping attendees who asked for directions to various Festival venues and events, selling merchandise, handing out programs and explaining them, and, of course, that all-important task of giving away free Musselman’s Applesauce to children and adults alike that happened to pass by the tent on their way to the Main Stage.

Volunteer Carolyn Greaney shared her wonderful talents as a professional researcher

Volunteer Carolyn Greaney shared her wonderful talents as a professional researcher

While I did not always get the chance to see the variety of other volunteer work going on at other venues and events during the Festival, I know from meeting them at the Festival office that they have done a fine job. Feedback has been nothing but positive so far from them; one volunteer, in response to the question “What is one stand-out memory or Festival highlight for you personally?”, replied: “Being at the Main Stage, hearing Stars & Stripes Forever played and the American flag flying on top of Penn Hall gave me the chills.”

 Another volunteer added her kudos for Philadanco’s performance at the Festival: “I loved the variety of repertoire they presented which really brought out the athleticism and sheer energy of the dancers. What a fun group!”

Thoughts and comments from our volunteers are still coming in all the time, and given the feedback that we’ve received already, there’s a good feeling that these same volunteers would be more than happy to return for next year’s Festival.

By Ira Rosen, Production Manager

Ira 6-09What’s it like managing 40 performances over 10 days at 4 locations? As Production Manager, I believe that it’s all about keeping things moving and on time. I always joke that my job is to keep the trains on time. If one train runs late, it just slows down all of the other trains. I am responsible for managing all of the events at the Festival Main Stage at Gettysburg College, as well as providing support for all of the Brass events at all of their locations on the festival’s first weekend. I’ve been in the event production business all of my life and have been part of festivals and events all around the world, but I am truly enjoying my Gettysburg Festival experience.
Everyone is doing an outstanding job and being so pleasant to work with. This experience is far more than a one person job and I am very grateful to all of our volunteers, in particular a group of music students from Gettysburg High School. They have worked long hours in the heat and never whined or complained. We also have a great local sound company, Noteworthy Music and a great staging company, Event Central from Harrisburg.
The other major key to our success has been the support and cooperation from the Gettysburg College community. From Facilities Management to the electricians, from Public Safety to the Sunderman Conservatory, everyone has worked together to make this festival a success.
What has surprised me the most about the Festival is the incredible diversity and high quality of all of the performances. I never realized how many different types of brass bands existed! We also have great jazz performances, children’s theater, rock from emerging artist Joel Streeter and we had a fabulous performance on Sunday of a combined brass band and woodwind octet along with vocal soloists, all conducted by Gettysburg College professor Dr. Buzz Jones.
Our biggest concern with an outdoor Festival is weather, and except for a few very stressful hours during our load in on Saturday morning, the weather has been fabulous.
It’s now the final Sunday and although I’m tired, I’m extremely gratified what we’ve accomplished. I am looking forward to being finished on Monday and after a deep breath, helping the Gettysburg Festival staff start planning the 2010 Festival.

By Karen Hendricks, Festival PR/Marketing Director

Although the preparation and planning has been a year in the making, the first weekend of the Festival has gone by in the blink of an eye. It’s been a wonderful kaleidoscope of events – from Thursday night’s powerful River City Brass concert, to thoughtful conversations with Festival artists at Sunday afternoon’s reception at the Sewing Factory Gallery. The highlight, of course, was the beautifully moving Gettysburg Festival Orchestra concert which concluded with the one and only James Earl Jones narrating A Lincoln Portrait. Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the hundreds of attendees at the Festival Main Stage throughout the day Saturday. The brass played on!  One of the most powerful and moving pieces of music was the National Anthem as performed by the Lancers Senior Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps of Hanover, PA.  WOW!

You can enjoy images of the first weekend by Gettysburg Times photographer Darryl Wheeler:  http://gettysburgtimes.mycapture.com/mycapture/folder.asp?event=781521&CategoryID=45246&ListSubAlbums=0

Performances aside, there are so many amazing, behind-the-scenes stories unfolding that it’s impossible to capture and write about them all!  But I will share just a few that have stuck with me.

Friday evening, I was coordinating with a local television crew doing a live shot from Gettysburg’s Lincoln Square, where Festival brass concerts were taking place.  The reporter was interviewing the Festival’s Artistic Director for Culinary Arts, Walter Scheib, who, as a former White House chef, was wearing his chef coat emblazoned with his name, the American flag and U.S. seal.  As the interview wrapped up, a couple came walking past, staring at his chef’s coat which evidently had made quite an impression on them.  I was sure they were gawking at the fact that they were seeing a former White House chef directly on the town square in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Then they approached him, asking Walter if his name was truly “Scheib.”  Coincidentally, this couple, visiting from Philadelphia, shared his surname of “Scheib.”  (Walter later told me he had never met anyone with the German name of Scheib outside of his family!)  So Mr. and Mrs. Scheib of Philadelphia shared a few minutes of conversation with Chef Walter Scheib, formerly of the White House, for a few minutes on Lincoln Square in the midst of the Gettysburg Festival. 

Another fun behind-the-scenes event took place Friday evening following the Festival’s signature event for 2009, the performance by the Gettysburg Festival Orchestra featuring James Earl Jones.  My dear friend, Fred Snyder of Gettysburg’s WGET Radio, experienced one of the biggest thrills of his life, and I was so happy to share in it alongside him.  Fred, an avid baseball fan (although I refuse to mention his favorite team!) as well as a James Earl Jones fan, has a favorite movie that combines these two passions:  Field of Dreams.  Fred actually had the foresight to slip a brand-new baseball into his pocket on the way to the theater that night.  As we were standing at the Dessert Reception held in James Earl Jones’ honor following the performance, Fred caught sight of our honored guest slipping away from the reception.  Fred, who is not exactly young or physically fit (sorry, Fred!), dashed after his idol.  A minute later, a flushed Fred came dashing back to the reception with the excitement of a little leaguer who had just caught a fly baseball in right field.  His fingers gripped a baseball bearing the signature of non other than James Earl Jones.  And his grin literally went from ear-to-ear.  His voice, normally deep and resonant through the radio airwaves, hit octaves it probably hadn’t reached since 1955.  “He signed my baseball!  Look!  James Earl Jones signed my baseball!” 

And as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

James Earl Jones himself signed it!

James Earl Jones himself signed it!

Fred Snyder of WGET Radio holding his signed baseball.
Fred Snyder of WGET Radio holding his signed baseball.

By Miriam B. Grinberg, Intern

It’s now Day 6 of the Festival, and Festival headquarters seems deceptively quiet. I say “deceptively” because, despite appearances, there is still a lot of work to be done—everything from preparing for a full weekend of jazz events to wrapping up the Festival in general. My part lately in all of this has been to conduct surveys at various Festival events alongside the head surveyor, Carolyn Greaney.

Carolyn and I planned out which events we would survey at in the beginning of the week, making sure to pick at least a couple out of every genre offered by the Festival this year. Carolyn designed the survey, which contained questions ranging from “How did you hear about the Festival?” to “What is your highest level of education?” for Festival attendees. The surveys we are collecting are statistical samplings that constitute part of a larger study of the Festival overall and provide us with valid data.

Generally the surveying has been going really well so far; no one has actually refused to be interviewed. Being from the Philadelphia suburbs, where people can be just as rude as those living in the city, I was absolutely amazed at the willingness of folks in this area to volunteer information and not just treat me as an unwanted solicitor (and I’m sure I looked like one, walking around with my clipboard in the background). I’m really thankful for the generosity of Festival attendees and volunteers!

Results of these surveys have been interesting so far, and attendees this year have come from places both near (Gettysburg, East Berlin, Orrtanna, etc.) and far (one man I interviewed brought his entire family from Ohio!). While many of the attendees I collected surveys from hadn’t attended many events and didn’t know what they wanted to see next, others had been to many of the art exhibits and brass concerts. The latter would take much longer to survey, but that’s never a bad thing. It’s great to see people taking advantage of the Festival’s many free events!

Of the questions asked on the survey, I would say that asking people their age and highest level of education have been the most awkward; again, however, no one has refused to answer either question. Both are critical to helping the Festival understand who our attendees are and note any trends in the data that would indicate a need for improvement and diversification in programming events for next year.

The final section of the survey asked attendees for suggestions and comments to improve the Festival, and I received some feedback that I think could definitely be incorporated. One comment I got a few times from younger attendees was a desire to see more information about the artists and the works of the Sculpture Walk on Gettysburg College’s campus near the sculptures themselves. Finally, I interviewed a number of people that requested a greater diversity of music offered at the Festival, with suggestions ranging from Latin to string quartets to punk rock bands. I’m not sure how well that last one would go over with most Festival attendees, but hey, it’s the thought that counts!

After we gather a bunch more surveys during the last few days of the Festival, Carolyn and I face the larger task ahead of us: hand-tabulating the surveys and compiling a set of data that can easily be browsed and assessed by Festival staff and others. It’s a bit daunting, but considering the fact that I’m thinking about going into a career of field research, I’m sure I’ll find it fascinating.

The Festival logo on display in Lincoln Square

The Festival logo on display in Lincoln Square

By Miriam B. Grinberg, Gettysburg Festival Intern

With the Festival just TWO days away now from its kickoff on the 18th, one of the biggest goals of the staff here at the Festival is getting the word out to as many people as possible to come and enjoy the amazing events offered in Gettysburg. And what better way to “spread the gospel,” so to speak, than three enormous, multi-colored banners hanging on the flagpole smackdab in the center of Lincoln Square?

These banners, however, are more than just a brilliant PR move – they also symbolize the culmination of a year’s hard work on the part of the staff here at the Festival office, and will no doubt draw even more attention to the Festival. Even against the lately grey skies overhanging the town, the banners seem to light up the square with the promise of an exciting Festival schedule (and sunnier days) ahead.

Gettysburg Festival Interns Rebecca Buxton and Leslie Lindemann prepare for the Festival

Gettysburg Festival Interns Rebecca Buxton and Leslie Lindemann prepare for the Festival