The Franklin County Visitors Bureau & Capitol Theatre Seek Talent For A Cappella & Unplugged 2018

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau & Capitol Theatre Seek Talent For A Cappella & Unplugged 2018

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) and Capitol Theatre are teaming up for A Cappella & Unplugged 2018. It is a journey to $500 and it begins with auditions at the Capitol Theatre on ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­May 22, 7 PM to 9 PM, and May 24, 6 PM to 9 PM. Audition on Tuesday, May 22, are in the Wood Center Stage and on Thursday, May 24 are on the main theatre stage.

Performers–ages 2 to 102–are invited to audition for the 2018 A Cappella & Unplugged Singing Competition. Acts can be solo or groups–vocal or unplugged instrumental. Acts must be appropriate for a variety of ages and people, FCVB is seeking celebratory–lively, illuminating, inspiring performers–something that makes the audience feel good. Auditions are closed format. Registration fee to audition is $10 per act.

The top performers from the audition will be invited to perform and compete at Round 1 of A Cappella & Unplugged Musical Competition, performed live, onstage June 16 @ 7 PM, at the Capitol Theatre, where a panel of judges will select the top six acts.

From here, voting goes public. Friends, family, and the public can vote for the top 6 acts by liking the performers on Facebook.com/FCVBen. The top three performers with the most public votes will have a chance to move forward in the competition and perform live on the steps of the Franklin County Courthouse on the evening of July 21, as part of the festivities leading up to 1864, the Civil War light show portraying the Ransoming & Burning of Chambersburg. The public at the event and through Facebook will select the winner of $500 and the title of “2018 A Cappella & Unplugged Champion.” Once the champion is crowned, they will then perform in front of thousands of people on the steps of the Franklin County Courthouse opening the 1864 light show. It will be an exciting competition showcasing amazing talent.

Get started today by registering to audition at Eventbrite.

For more information about the 2018 A Cappella & Unplugged Championship, visit https://www.explorefranklincountypa.com/home/acappella_unplugged/  or call 866.646.8060.

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to explore Franklin County PA and enjoy the trails of history, arts, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro.

Remember Chambersburg

In the early hours of July 30, 1864, as McCausland advanced on Chambersburg, a division of Union cavalry, commanded by General William Averell was camped near Greencastle.  Averell planned to intercept McCausland and expected he would take the route J.E.B. Stuart used in 1862, so Averell moved east. When scouts reported that McCausland’s troops were moving west, Averell changed course and moved toward Chambersburg. Averell’s men had no idea of the destruction they would encounter in Chambersburg.

At 2 P.M (on July 30, 1864), the Union forces advanced through the town. The citizens cheered the dusty and jaded warriors, but no soldierly huzzas came from their parched and suffocated throats, as they rode through smoke and flame and the intense heat of the smoldering ruins. One repeated exclamation of “My God” was all that was heard, and then, as they passed the flag staff, each one shouted “Remember Chambersburg.” And so they exclaimed, and so they shouted, as they dashed at a trot through the town.

– J.K. Shryock in Schneck’s Burning of Chambersburg

As General Averell’s troops entered Chambersburg, the troops of Generals McCausland and Johnson were moving toward McConnellsburg. Upon arriving in the town, the Confederates demanded rations, threatening to fire the town, if they were not provided. The telegraph wires were cut, stores relieved of merchandise, and citizens robbed before the Confederates set camp outside the town with an eye on the road from Chambersburg.  In the morning, the Confederates departed McConnellsburg and headed toward Hancock, where McCausland made another ransom demand –$30,000 and food for the men or Hancock would be left as Chambersburg was.  Johnson did not concur with McCausland’s demand, but the two generals had no time to settle the difference because Union troops led by Averell were advancing and engaging.  Averell drove McCausland and Bradley’s men out of Hancock, and the Confederates headed west toward Cumberland, Maryland.

On August 7, General William Averell caught up with the Chambersburg raiders at Moorefield, West Virginia, where he attacked and took 500-600 prisoners.  Among those captured was General Bradley Johnson, who later escaped. General McCausland was not captured.

The Burning of Norland – Alexander K McClure’s Home

The Burning of Norland – Alexander K McClure’s Home

Alexander K. McClure was active in the Republican party, campaigning and supporting Abraham Lincoln. In addition, McClure was an attorney and editor of the local newspaper, Franklin Repository. He was an outspoken critic of the Confederacy and escaped retaliation on his property or person at the two previous invasions of Chambersburg, but in 1864, he was not so fortunate.  The following is excerpt from Rev. Benjamin Schenck’s account of the burning.

“Colonel McClure’s beautiful residence, one mile from the centre of town, was evidently marked out for destruction, for no other house between it and the burnt potion of the town was fired. The Colonel was known as a prominent man in National and State affairs, and, after the raid of General “Jenkins and the succeeding invasion by General Lee’s army, he had spoken of Jenkins and his men in no complimentary terms in the paper of which Colonel McClure is chief editor. And although no house in the community was more coveted by rebel officers to be quartered in than his, and for the reason, doubtless, that every comfort and luxury could be had in it, and although Mrs. McClure had, with her well known generosity and kindness of heart, ministered to the necessities and comforts of the sick and wounded insurgents, which were left during General Lee’s invasion, for which she has since received the most touching acknowledgments from some of them — yet, his property was doomed, irrevocably doomed to be burnt. Captain Smith, son of Governor Smith of Virginia, with a squad of men, passing by all the intervening houses, entered the devoted mansion with the information to Mrs. McClure, then and for some time before an invalid, that the house must be burned by way of retaliation. Ten minutes were given her in which to leave the house, and in less than ten minutes the flames were doing their work of destruction, and Mrs. McClure and the other members of the family at home, started on foot, in the heat of one of the hottest days I have ever known, in order to escape the vengeance of the chivalry

Whilst the flames were progressing in the house as well as the large and well-filled barn, the Captain helped himself to Mrs. McClure’s gold watch, silver pitcher and other valuables. The gold watch and other articles were easily concealed, but the silver pitcher was rather unwieldy, and could not be secreted from profane eyes as he rode back through town from the scene of his triumph. He resolved, therefore, to give a public display of his generosity. He stopped at the house of the Rev. James Kennedy, and handed the pitcher to his wife, with the request, “Please deliver this to Mrs. Colonel McClure, with the compliments of Captain Smith.”

Great Fire of 1864

Great Fire of 1864

Chambersburg Out of the Ashes

In 1864, Chambersburg’s population was about 5,500. It was a town settled by hard-working Scots-Irish and German immigrants. As is true today, Chambersburg was well-located and, therefore, a transportation hub. Goods and people moved on the roads to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. The Cumberland Valley Railroad was well-established in the community.  The town offered large hotels and taverns to lodge travelers, general stores along its main streets, someone to repair wagons and shoe horses. Chambersburg had barbers, seamstresses, hatmakers, tool-makers, and carriage builders. Industry was located along the Conococheague Creek and included paper mills and metal fabricators.  It was a thriving community, which grew steadily from its founding in the mid-1730s.

The bombardment of Fort Sumter propelled the country to a state of war. Men of Chambersburg and Franklin County enlisted to support Abraham Lincoln’s call for troops, and by 1861 Chambersburg became a military town where Union troops trained. Both supplies and troops were loaded onto the cars of the Cumberland Valley Railroad, and war hovered around the doorsteps of Franklin County communities.

In 1862, Chambersburg had its first Confederate raid when General J.E.B. Stuart took horses, food, and other supplies, burning the railroad shops and cutting the telegraph wires on a hasty foray across the Mason Dixon Line and into Franklin County.  In the summer of 1863, Chambersburg experienced a more intense and lasting incursion as Robert E. Lee headquartered in Chambersburg  and set up camp with 75,000 Confederate soldiers in and around the county seat before moving east towards Gettysburg to engage the Union troops.

Each time Confederates entered Chambersburg, the stakes increased, but on July 30, 1864, no one envisioned such a vast and definitive impact the coming hours would have in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.