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On Friday, June 15th, Broadway’s Next H!T Musical will create a full-fledged Broadway style musical, completely off the cuff using suggestions from the audience. This group of master improvisers will gather made up, hit song suggestions to create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full blown improvised musical – complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore.

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The opening act is the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass, playing your Broadway favorites to set the scene. The Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass is composed of some of America’s top brass musicians and has appeared on the world’s most prominent stages with such groups as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Canadian Brass, Boston Brass and many others. The evening’s performance is a prelude to their full performance the following day as part of the free All-American Brass Picnic at Festival Main Stage.

Following the show, guests can cap off the night with the decadent Chocolate on Broadway reception, featuring artisan chocolates to pastries, petit fours to fondue, and even coffees and martinis infused with chocolate. It’s the “icing on top of the cake,” putting a delicious finishing touch on the evening’s entertainment.

Tickets for this evening, sponsored by OPEN MINDS, are $28/$35/$44 for Broadway’s Next H!T Musical and $25 for Chocolate on Broadway. Learn more about this events – and reserve your tickets – at GettysburgFestival.org.

 From June 8 to 17th, the Gettysburg Festival brings more than 100 events – musical, culinary, artistic, and community – to this small town in Central Pennsylvania. How should you choose which events to check out? The Gettysburg Festival has made it easy for locals and out-of-towners alike, with this handy list:

Top 10 Must-Go Events

  1. Bridging the gap between blues, rock, soul, gospel and a touch of jazz, the Robert Cray Band is sure to light up the stage! Five-time Grammy Award winner Robert Cray brings the blues to Gettysburg on opening night Friday, June 8.
  2. Blues, Beer & BBQ featuring Shemekia Copeland makes for a perfect summer evening, full of smokey BBQ, cold beer and the sizzling voice of Shemekia Copeland. The June 9 party will start with a special cooking demo by the one and only ‘Biker Billy’, a vegetarian, Harley riding, entertainer who loves all things hot and spicy!
  3. FREE and open to all, the Art Market features two days of live music on the Festival Main Stage, along with a wonderful collection of artisans and crafters displaying and selling their work. Enjoy delicious Festival food from top local vendors and cold beverages from the Festival Bar.
  4. Kicking off History Meets the Arts on June 14, the Edible Art Tour is a Festival favorite. Tour local galleries to experience nationally known artists showcasing fine art and top area chefs showcasing fine food.
  5. ‘A Step Back in Time’ is this year’s theme for Children’s Arts Faire – a free, fun-filled day of crafts, music, games, art, magic and much more – for kids of all ages!
  6. Don’t miss Broadway’s Next H!T Musical – a fresh, creative improv troupe that creates a full-fledged Broadway style musical, completely off the cuff using suggestions from the audience. Cap off the fun with the decadence of a chocolate reception featuring artisan chocolates, pastries, coffees and chocolate martinis. Broadway and bonbons – a winning combination!
  7. The White House Dinner is sure to be remembered by all who attend! Hosted by the Eisenhower Foundation, special guest Susan Eisenhower will talk about her memories of the White House during her grandfather’s administration, then Walter Scheib, White House Chef for the Clinton & Bush administrations, will discuss his experiences in the President’s house while you enjoy a extraordinary dinner and fine wines.
  8. An exciting combination of traditional and contemporary brass bands, the All-American Brass Picnic this year will feature Athena Brass, an all-female band. Enjoy outstanding picnic fare from quality food vendors plus the Festival bar featuring beer, wine and other beverages.
  9. Become a “Redhead,” as the fans of Red Molly are called. On Saturday, June 16, this trio will combine gorgeous a cappella ballads, bluegrass-tinged folk and a touch of jazzy western swing all done up in three-part harmonies.
  10. Then Sings My Soul: Songs and Spirituals from the American Experience is an uplifting, glorious musical journey that will satisfy your soul. Featuring mezzo soprano Cheryse McLeod Lewis closes the festival on Sunday, June 17 with this event to honor America’s treasure trove of Civil War spirituals and inspirational Broadway favorites.

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Whether you love blues or brews, tunes or ‘tinis, the Gettsyburg Festival has something for everyone. Learn more about these events – and the 90 others scheduled for 2012 – at GettysburgFestival.org.

Gettysburg Festival’s All-American Brass Picnic on Saturday, June 16 will offer a “picnic in the park” setting at the Festival Main Stage at Gettysburg College. The full afternoon lineup will spotlight some of the best brass groups from the mid-Atlantic region as part of the 10-day Gettysburg Festival celebrating American arts, culture and cuisine.

“The brass picnic is truly a slice of Americana and a great way for the community to come together,” said Beth Kirby, Executive Director of the Festival. “Gettysburg Festival is pleased to offer free admission to this fantastic event, meeting our goal of making the arts accessible and available to all.”

The lineup includes:

12 pm: Spires Brass Band of Frederick, MD
1 pm: Athena Brass, representing 13 states across the USA plus Canada
2 pm: No BS! Brass Band of Richmond, VA
4 pm: Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass of Philadelphia, PA

This project is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments, the William Penn Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and The Pew Charitable Trusts, and administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Media sponsors for the All American Brass Picnic include Celebrate Gettysburg Magazine and Susquehanna Style Magazine.

A Dream Team Gives Back

The Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass (RMPBB) is composed of some of America’s top brass musicians dedicated to bringing the joyous experience of great music to a wide range of audiences. A veritable “dream team” of virtuoso brass players, members of the group have appeared on the world’s most prominent stages.

RMPBB is dedicated to the notion that music is a gift to be enjoyed by everyone, and its members are especially committed to reaching out to the world’s youth and inspiring them to reach for their dreams. To share this commitment in Gettysburg, the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass will offer a free workshop; open to brass musicians of all ages and levels.

This unique opportunity, partially supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, will take place on June 16th from 11am -12pm at The Junction in the College Union Building (CUB) of Gettysburg College. The workshop is free but reservations are required and can be made by calling the Festival office at (717)334-0853.

New to the Festival Stage

Named after the Greek Goddess of wisdom, the Athena Brass Band is the first all-female brass band in the United States. Formed in 2003, with members from across the country and Canada, Athena musicians include current or former members of the U.S. Army Band, the U.S. Coast Guard Band, Brass Band of Battle Creek and the New Sousa Band.

If You Decide to Go…

The Festival Main Stage is shifting to a new, larger location on the Gettysburg College campus for 2012. It will be located on Memorial Field, behind the College Union Building, with free on-campus parking nearby at Stadium Lot. This more spacious location allows for better visibility of the stage, without trees in the line of sight; however portions of the day have the potential for direct sunlight so attendees are encouraged to wear hats and bring sunscreen as desired.

A wide selection of classic American picnic fare by outstanding regional vendors, along with beer, wine and other beverages, will be available. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs, and may bring sun umbrellas to set around the edges of the seating area.

A Brass-tastic Weekend

Additional Gettysburg Festival brass performances include:

  • Brass on the Square, 6-8pm, June 15 in front of the Gettysburg Hotel in Lincoln Square. Enjoy the music, while strolling through the Square watching downtown scenes come to life on artists’ canvases, as part of the Quick Draw a new Festival event, taking place simultaneously. The Quick Draw is a timed competition, after which work is judged, prizes awarded, and work will be immediately included in a “wet sale.” Prizes for this event were generously donated by ACNB and Blick Art Materials.
  • Wildcat Regiment Band, a Civil War period band, performs on June 16 at 2 pm at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center and at the Pennsylvania Monument at 6 pm.

Support for Brass Music

Generous support for the 2012 All American Brass Picnic is provided by Dr Pepper Snapple and by Gen On, and by the Ben Jones’ Tuba Open Golf Brass Benefit. This golf tournament, organized to support brass programming, will be played Thursday, June 14 at Mountain View Golf Club. For more information and registration contact Ben Jones at jonesbl@embarqmail.com or 334 7719.

All 2012 Festival brass performances are free and open to the public; however, tickets to the All-American Brass Picnic are required for entry. Visit GettysburgFestival.org to obtain your free ticket. Donations are graciously accepted at the Picnic, so that this free, quality programming may continue.

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  1. February 27, 2009
  2. By:  Ben Jones, Gettysburg Festival’s Artistic Director for Brass

I’m really excited on learning that the fabulous River City Brass Band from Pittsburgh will kick off The 2009 Gettysburg Festival with a free concert.  Mark your calendars for 7pm, Thursday, June 18, at the Festival Main Stage on the beautiful campus of Gettysburg College. Many of we band fans have experienced the beautiful brass sounds and energy of  the River City Brass Band in concert at Messiah College, the Luhr’s Center at Shippensburg University and the Strand Capitol in York. Now, for the first time, it’s Gettysburg’s turn!! Tickets to the River City Brass performances typically run between $20 and $25 each, but we are thrilled to be able to offer this performance to the Gettysburg community for free.  Donations are most appreciated and a $10 donation will entitle you to seats within our premium VIP seating area.  Please note, in case of rain the River City concert will move to the marvelous Majestic Theater in downtown Gettysburg.

 

Keep checking our festival web page, www.gettysburgfestival.org, or, www.gettysburgbrassbandfestival.org, for the soon to be announced schedule of 20 additional brass performances in the 2009 Gettysburg Festival.  The schedule includes many crowd favorites who have performed in Gettysburg before, but I’m excited to say the schedule also includes many accomplished, excellent musicians who will be performing in Gettysburg for the first time ever.  Hope to see you in June!

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