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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!

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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!

Using Random.org, the Gettysburg Festival is proud to announce the winners of the Blues, Brews & BBQ Featuring Shemekia Copeland giveaway:

  • George Queen: “Sounds like fun…”
  • Lana Bittle: “Love the blues and would love to hear her she sounds awesome!”
  • Luann Battersby: “I’m looking forward to Shemekia Copeland and houseguests on Saturday. And to my son’s graduation from high school on Friday!”
  • Lois Bittle: “Can’t have a summer with out hearing some blues, brews and some barbeque! Would love to be there!”
  • Diane Dudley: “What an excellent combination of events–Shemekia will ROCK the Battlefield with her epic blues. Throw the brews and BBQ in and it’s a FESTIVAL in Gettysburg! Hope to be there!”

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

Come back tomorrow for another ticket giveaway!

The Gettysburg Festival is proud to announce the winners of its first-ever ticket giveaway:

  • Gina Xenos,  whose husband “loves blues music (plays the sax and guitar) and would feel lifted to hear some music.”
  • Diana Trout – “I really want to see the Robert Cray Band!!!”
  • Mike0917 – “We’re planning on being there! BOGO free would be awesome.”
  • Sarajayn – “Blues moves my spirit, Rock fills my heart with “de je vu”, Soul feeds my emotions, Jazz energizes my body and Gospel speaks to history. I want to experience this sensational Blend with my hot date at the Robert Cray Concert.”
  • Blues Lovers – “My eight-year old son has West African paternal roots, and he loves blues music. As a single parent, I would love to take him to see the Robert Cray Band to inspire him to learn more about the history of the blues and to encourage him to learn how to play guitar.”

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

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.

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.

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.

By Jenny Carrington, Gettysburg Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2012

Just recently, I was able to get my hands on Straight No Chaser’s 2010 album release, “With A Twist.” Having a better understanding of Straight No Chaser’s musical style and typical song selection, I began listening to the album with a certain sound in mind, and expected to hear their musicality and comedic selves come through the music; I was absolutely thrilled by what I heard. While the sound is distinctly Straight No Chaser, certain songs on the album show off the strong musical creativity this group possesses, and the uncanny ability they have to imitate the quality and style of popular songs by world-famous bands—but without any instruments other than their voices.

The first song that jumped out at me was “You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three/Single Ladies.” Being a huge Beyonce fan, I smiled trying to imagine a group of men sing her hit single, “Single Ladies.” I youtubed “You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three,” and discovered that it’s a lively swing dance number originally by the band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. I could easily envision a big band playing for a crowded dance floor with couples wildly dancing. This swing-dancing image is definitely translated in Straight No Chaser’s arrangement of the song:

 

The accompanying voices and constant “finger-snapping” create a strong “big-band feel,” and push the song along at a very fast pace. About two-thirds of the way through the song, the lead vocals cut out, and you can hear what sounds like a crowded room full of people, loudly chatting as the background vocals continue. As the lead vocals layer back on, you expect the swing number to pick back up when suddenly, you hear, “All the single ladies, all the single ladies!” Even though Beyonce’s song is in the title, hearing them singing those words is completely unexpected, but definitely a very nice surprise. All in all, this song is a great representation of their ability to embrace very specific genres of music while adding their own “twist.”

The next song that caught my ear was “Under the Bridge,” a famous Red Hot Chili Peppers hit from 2006. What’s great about Straight No Chaser’s arrangement of the song is that they incorporate bell tones into the first twenty seconds. If you’ve ever watched NBC’s “The Sing Off,” you’ll know that one of the judges constantly praises groups for their use of bell tones, or sequential notes that sound like ringing bells. Straight No Chaser’s bell tones wonderfully emulate the opening guitar sequence in the original Chili Peppers song. The bell tones stop, and the soloist sings the first two lines of the song without accompaniment. As voices begin joining him, I quickly notice that while they’re remaining true to the classic, they’re putting their own “twist” on the song, showing the mark of an innovative, talented a cappella group.

I could easily write paragraph after paragraph praising all the songs on this great album; they’re all so good! Other familiar song titles that you might be interested in are, “You’re My Best Friend,” “Joy To The World” and “One Voice” (clip below), featuring the voice of the man himself, Barry Manilow. I think “With A Twist” was the perfect title for this album: each song remains faithful to its original counterpart, but is “twisted” in such a way that the song becomes uniquely Straight No Chaser.

Listening to the album only makes me more anxious for their June 10 Gettysburg Festival concert  (click here for details).  Tickets are selling quickly!  I cannot wait to hear their signature songs at the beautiful outdoor Festival Main Stage—and they wouldn’t be complete, without plenty of twists.