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The Gettysburg Festival is proud to announce the winner of the “Then Sings My Soul: Songs & Spirituals from the American Experience”  giveaway.

  • wolfcandy888: “Can’t wait to get there !!! <3″

Congratulations! Look for an email from the Gettysburg Festival with details of how to claim your prize.

As the fifth annual Festival comes to a close this weekend, we thank all of our guests and visitors, performers and artists, donors and volunteers, board members and staff for their unflagging support. We couldn’t have such a wonderful Festival without you!

To celebrate the conclusion of the fifth annual festival, the Gettysburg Festival is giving away FIVE (5) buy-one-get-one tickets free to the “Then Sings My Soul: Songs & Spirituals from the American Experience” performance.

Sunday, June 17
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Majestic Theater

Cheryse McLeod Lewis, an award-winning mezzo-soprano, presents the rich musical history of America through the notes of deeply-moving spirituals rooted in the Civil War era, as well as inspirational Broadway favorites. By sharing entertaining, historical narration between songs, she transports audiences on a musical journey sure to satisfy the soul. A special highlight of the afternoon’s concert is the assembling of a community choir comprised of members representing Gettysburg area churches, accompanying McLeod Lewis for three numbers including the spiritual “Wade in the Water.”

The Details:

To enter to win a free ticket, write a comment here describing why you want to attend Then Sings My Soul before 9:00 am on Friday, June 15, 2012.

At that time, an online random number generator will be used to select five commenters as winners. Each winner will be entitled to a free ticket of the same value of a new ticket purchased to the concert. Tickets are available at all price levels.

Return tomorrow to learn if you’re a winner!

The Gettysburg Festival is proud to announce the winner of the Red Molly giveaway.

  • Molly Shane: “I’ve never heard Red Molly, but it sounds like my kind of music, and I gotta love the name!”

Congratulations! Look for an email from the Gettysburg Festival with details of how to claim your prize.

Come back tomorrow for another ticket giveaway!

In celebration of the kickoff of the fifth annual festival, the Gettysburg Festival is giving away FIVE (5) buy-one-get-one free tickets to the Red Molly concert.

Saturday, June 16
8:00 – 10:00 pm
Majestic Theater

This New York-based trio is quickly gaining an ever-growing and devoted fanbase of “redheads” for their authentic Americana, folk, bluegrass-influenced songs. Their performances feature gorgeous a cappella ballads, bluegrass-tinged folk and a touch of jazzy western swing, all done up in their trademark three-part harmonies, signature dobro licks and inventive arrangements.

The Details:

To enter to win a free ticket, write a comment here describing why you want to attend the Red Molly concert before 9:00 am on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. At that time, an online random number generator will be used to select five commenters as winners. Each winner will be entitled to a free ticket of the same value of a ticket purchased to the concert. Tickets are available at all price levels.

Return tomorrow to learn if you’re a winner!

The Gettysburg Festival is proud to announce the winner of the Broadway’s Next H!T Musical ticket giveaway:

  • Caryl Lewis Schmitz: “it looks like a BLAST!!!!”

Congratulations! Look for an email from the Gettysburg Festival with details of how to claim your prize.

Come back tomorrow for another ticket giveaway!

In celebration of the kickoff of the fifth annual festival, the Gettysburg Festival is giving away FIVE (5) buy-one-get-one-free tickets to Broadway’s Next H!T Musical.

Friday, June 15
8:00 – 10:00 pm
Majestic Theater

Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised and it’s all funny. The New York Times calls Broadway’s Next H!T Musical “Hilarious!” Time Out NY says “At last! A Musical of, for, and by the people.” The hysterical Broadway’s Next H!T Musical is the only unscripted theatrical awards show. Master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and 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.

The Details:

To enter to win a free ticket, write a comment here describing why you want to attend the Broadway’s Next H!T Musical performance before 12:00 pm on Monday, June 11, 2012. At that time, an online random number generator will be used to select five commenters as winners. Each winner will be entitled to a free ticket of the same value of a ticket purchased to the performance. This offer applies to all ticket levels.

Return Tuesday to learn if you’re a winner!

By Karen Hendricks

It’s just like the classic line, “Catch me if you can,” from the children’s story The Gingerbread Man…

As the holiday season draws nearer, there are a number of opportunities to still enjoy the incredible gingerbread houses created for the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Celebration.  A number of houses have found “prime real estate” within Gettysburg’s public places, so be sure to stop by and enjoy these fabulous creations during your holiday travels.

Your first stop might be Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater, where the largest 2011 gingerbread entry has taken up residence.  Built by Team Robinson of Hanover, this massive three-foot-high structure is on display in the main lobby, also able to be viewed through the theater’s front windows on Carlisle Street.  Two of the creators, Tony and Jennifer Robinson, explained they were inspired to create a New York City-style gingerbread entry.  So if you look closely, you will see a New York City brownstone (a perfect match for gingerbread dough), a city cathedral, Rockefeller Center, and even a rotating Christmas tree in the center to represent the big apple’s famous tree at Rockefeller Center.

This amazing gingerbread creation is only on display for a few more days, as this gingerbread gift changes hands once more.  The Majestic Theater will be drawing a name from a hat this Saturday, December 17 during the free holiday movie “The Polar Express” and one lucky movie patron will be the proud new owner.

Not only did this house win 2nd prize as determined by the Festival’s independent panel of judges, but it also won the popular vote of “People’s Choice” during the entire December 1-3 Gingerbread House Celebration.  While on display, it garnered a number of generous, silent bids from attendees.  When the dust cleared, the high bidder was Festival Trustee Edie Jardine of Fairfield.  Thanks to her generous nature, she then donated the house to the Majestic Theater so that the public could enjoy it a while longer.  Bravo!

Another award-winning house from 2011 can be found on Lincoln Square.  The 3rd place entry, created by Gettysburg Radiology Oncology staff, is on display at The Historic Gettysburg Hotel.  Modeled after a French chateau, don’t miss the intricate construction accented by adjacent colorful gardens.  Much like the aforementioned gingerbread gift, Festival Trustee Monica Oss was the high bidder on this impressive house and decided to donate it to one of Gettysburg’s most popular public buildings for continued community enjoyment.  Many families and children especially enjoyed seeing the house during the hotel’s recent “Breakfast with Santa” event.

Creating a gingerbread model of an actual structure is no small accomplishment.  But two women from Gettysburg, Donna and Teresa, set out to do just that when they created a gingerbread replica of the new Adams County Arts Council facility.  Coincidentally, the new Arts Education Center is where the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Celebration took place.  All elements of each gingerbread house are to be edible, according to the Festival’s rules, and this entry even includes the Adams County Arts Council signage done via edible pen work.  Many thanks to Peggy Talbot of the Arts Council staff, for her high bid on this architectural gem.  Stop by the new facility, located at 125 South Washington Street, Gettysburg, where it remains on display.

If you’re still in need of Christmas stocking stuffers, i.e. “candy,” you may want to visit Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium, a few miles west of Gettysburg on Route 30.  His corporate sponsorship of the gingerbread event allowed him to choose a storybook-style entry created by a mother-daughter team, “The Hamraps” of Fairfield, PA.  Mr. Ed is proudly displaying this candy-laden house in his unique shop.

A townhouse-style gingerbread house was appropriately adopted via corporate sponsorship by Property Management Inc (PMI) of Lemoyne, PA.  This colorful “Gingerbread Bakery” was created dollhouse-style by Chelsea Walton of Hanover, who coincidentally works as a pastry chef at a major Lancaster restaurant.  PMI is spreading holiday cheer by putting the house on public display at one of its townhouse apartment complexes, Breckenridge Village, Gettysburg, with the office located on Village Drive in the area of Gettysburg Hospital.

Finally, one additional gingerbread house–a church, actually–is on public display.  This precisely-built church, created by Rebecca Colpo of Red Lion, PA was secured via high bid by a generous donor who contributed it to a Gettysburg area community, The Preserves at Cumberland Village, located off Herr’s Ridge Road.  The spire-topped gingerbread church is on display within the neighborhood’s community building.  But a group of neighborhood women also plan on taking the church “on the road” as they go caroling at area senior centers through the holidays.  We hope it travels well and spreads community cheer!

So just like “the gingerbread man,” catch these amazing creations while you can… but unlike his fellow storybook characters Hansel and Gretel, please don’t munch on these houses while leaving your breadcrumb trails through town.  Happy holidays!

P.S. You can enjoy more gingerbread photos on the Festival’s Facebook page by clicking here.

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.