New Shows On Sale at Luhrs Performing Arts Center

New Shows On Sale at Luhrs Performing Arts Center

H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University announces the addition of 15 new events to the 2018-2019 lineup. Tickets to the new events go on sale to the public on Monday, August 27 at 10 am. A group discount is available for groups of 20 or more for most events. Reserved tickets can be purchased by visiting or calling the Luhrs Center box office at 717.477.SHOW (7469) or purchase online at

The new events include:
Ballroom Dance Lessons – Mondays, October 15, 22 & 29; November 5, 12 & 19, 2018, 5:30 & 6:30 pm
$35 per person for the six-class course

Cirque Mechanics: 42 FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels – Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, 7:30 pm; $49, $39 & $29

The Sound of Music – Thursday, December 6, 2018, 7:30 pm; $75, $65 & $55

Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna – Saturday, December 8, 2018, 7:30 pm; $49, $39 & $29

Mnozil Brass: Cirque – Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 7:30 pm; $35, $25 & $20

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater – Sunday, February 17, 2019, 1:00 & 4:00 pm; $45, $35 & $25

The Temptations and The Four Tops – Friday, February 22, 2019, 7:30 pm $85, $75 & $65

The Irish Tenors – Friday, March 8, 2019, 7:30 pm; $55, $45 & $35

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers – Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7:30 pm;  $45 & $35

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show – Saturday, March 23, 2019, 11:00 am & 2:00 pm ; $45, $25 & $15

In The Mood: 25th Silver Celebration Tour – Sunday, March 31, 2019, 3:00 pm  $32 & $25

Luhrs Circle of Friends Gala – Friday, April 5, 2019, 6:00-7:30 pm;Donation of $500+ per couple

*Kinky Boots – Friday, April 5, 2019, 8:00 pm; $75, $65 & $55

*Rock of Ages: 10th Anniversary Tour – Thursday, April 18, 2019, 7:30 pm; $75, $65 & $55

The Drifters, The Platters, and Cornell Gunter’s Coasters – Friday, April 26, 2019, 7:30 pm; $45 & $35

*New this year, the Luhrs Center is offering a Broadway Series package.  Purchase the entire Broadway Series (including The Sound of Music, Kinky Boots and Rock of Ages) and receive a 15% discount on your purchase.

Performance descriptions, along with photos, videos and more, can be found at

For additional information about these events or other performances within the 2018-2019 Luhrs Center lineup, please call the Luhrs Center box office at 717.477.SHOW (7469) or visit the Luhrs Center website at

The mission of the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University is to support and enhance the University’s role in academic and cultural enrichment for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Luhrs Center’s 1,500-seat state-of-the-art Grove Theatre is where programs to educate, enlighten and entertain are presented. Benefits of the Center to the region include expanding opportunities to participate in a wide range of cultural programming including full-scale Broadway companies, musical groups, symphonies, dance troupes and internationally known speakers. In addition, it adds options for professional training programs, youth programs and senior citizen programs; attracts regional and national business conferences, professional meetings and planning sessions; and additional visitors to the area which will result in a positive impact on the local and regional economy.



Nicodemus Center for Ceramic Studies Loans John Bell Pottery to Renfrew Museum

Nicodemus Center for Ceramic Studies Loans John Bell Pottery to Renfrew Museum

The Nicodemus Center for Ceramic Studies in Mont Alto has permanently loaned Renfrew Museum fifty-nine pieces of pottery that include John Bell along with pottery from Daniel Baker, Jacob Heart, Peter Bell, Jacob Kimmler, Upton M. Bell, and a few pieces that are not marked.  The new acquisition has been arranged and is displayed in the Changing Gallery room of the Museum House.    All cases in the Changing Gallery are filled with beautiful pottery that have ties to Waynesboro or the local area.

Mary Ashe-Mahr, Director of the Nicodemus Center for Ceramic Studios approached Dade Royer, Renfrew’s Executive Director, and offered the permanent loan.  Renfrew jumped at the opportunity to expand our current collection.  “The collection on loan from the Nicodemus Center for Ceramic Studies is an incredible addition to our Bell Family and Cumberland/Shenandoah Valley pottery exhibit.  We are excited about this partnership with another great Waynesboro non-profit.” said Dade Royer.

The pottery collection contains unique pieces including earthenware, stoneware, crocks, bowls, jugs, a funnel, hanging flower pot, bed pan, pitchers, a pie plate, and a bowl from the Snow Hill Cloister.  One of the most unique pieces in the donation is a small faux stoneware crock; slip decorated with cobalt hatching on everted rim and cobalt floral pattern on the exterior of the crock.  Beneath the rim in cobalt is printed April 22, 1858 Waynesboro, PA.  The crock is stamped John Bell/Waynesboro on the exterior below the rim.  The piece is signed JWB in cobalt.

Another Bell piece that is worth a look is the lead-glazed earthenware vegetable dish.  The eight-sided lead glazed earthenware vegetable dish with applied handles, slab made, decorated with four sprigged hunters with dogs and two sprigged eagles and sponged manganese on the rim, foot and handles.  It is stamped John Bell on the side panel below the handle.

The Visitors Center houses the largest public collection of Bell, Shenandoah, and Cumberland Valley in the nation and we are grateful to add an additional fifty-nine pieces.  Renfrew is exploring the possibility of relocating the collection to the Visitors Center so all the pottery is housed in a central location.  The latest collection takes our extensive pottery collection to over 300 pieces.

The collection showcases a variety of Bell pottery along with other local potters who learned the craft locally around Waynesboro, PA.  The new display will be kept in the changing gallery until a permanent pottery case is built and installed in the Visitors Center.

Renfrew Jazz Festival Coming August 26

Renfrew Jazz Festival Coming August 26

Renfrew Institute’s 27th annual Jazz Festival is scheduled for Sunday, August 26, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the lawn behind the Renfrew Museum house in Waynesboro, Pa. The concert features world-renowned musicians and is offered free to the public.

This year’s concert will feature legendary jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker, pianist Richard Sussman, saxophonist Ada Rovatti, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Clarence Penn.

“Each one of these artists is an internationally renowned jazz musician,” said event organizer, Andrew Sussman. “The concert is a unique opportunity to hear them play together—and it’s all free in beautiful Renfrew Park!”

Lead sponsor, FirstEnergy Foundation on behalf of West Penn Power, is returning this year to support the event. “We are proud to help sponsor this marvelous concert that brings extraordinarily talented jazz musicians and vocalists to our backyard for our customers and others to enjoy,” said David McDonald, president of West Penn Power.

Jazz trumpeter and composer, Randy Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades. His performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, and Frank Zappa. In 1967, Brecker ventured into jazz-rock with the band Blood, Sweat and Tears, but left to join the Horace Silver Quintet. He recorded his first solo album, “Score,” in 1968. After Horace Silver, Brecker joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers before teaming up with brother Michael, Barry Rogers, Billy Cobham, and John Abercrombie to form the seminal fusion group Dreams.

The group recorded two adventurous and widely-acclaimed albums before they disbanded in 1971. In the early 1970s, Brecker performed live with many prominent artists including Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House, Stevie Wonder and Billy Cobham. By 1975, Brecker and his brother Michael were ready to front their own group, the Brecker Brothers Band. A band of immeasurable impact and influence, they released six albums on Arista and garnered seven Grammy nominations between 1975 and 1981. Since then, his credits and awards are far too numerous to list here. Over the years, Brecker has received 18 Grammy Award nominations and won a total of six, and remains one of the most celebrated and highly respected jazz musicians in the world.

Richard Sussman is an accomplished jazz pianist, composer, music technologist, educator, and author. He has performed with many jazz and pop greats including Lionel Hampton, Lee Konitz, Houston Person, Buddy Rich, Randy Brecker, Blood Sweat & Tears, David Sanborn, Marty Balin, Country Joe McDonald, and Donna Summer. As a leader, Sussman has recorded five critically-acclaimed albums of original music, including the classic “Free Fall” and his most recent, “The Evolution Suite” for jazz quintet, string quartet, and electronics. His large ensemble arrangements have been performed by the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra of Holland, and the American Composers Orchestra in New York. Sussman has been a member of the jazz faculty at the Manhattan School of Music since 1986, where his responsibilities have included teaching and developing curriculum for jazz arranging and composition classes and managing all aspects of the Electronic Music Technology Studios. His book, Jazz Composition and Arranging in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press), has been hailed as a comprehensive and trend-setting text for jazz composers in the 21st century.  Sussman has received numerous awards including two NEA grants in Jazz Composition, an ASCAP Jazz Composition Award, and a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant. His extensive work in the field of film and TV has included projects for ABC, NBC, CBS, Disney, and Nickelodeon.

Italian native Ada Rovatti started playing saxophone in high school after years of classical piano training. She won a scholarship from Berklee College of Music in Italy, and divided her time between Boston—where she studied with Joe Viola and George Garzone—and Italy, where she worked in big bands with guest artists such as Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker.

After a year touring Europe and Africa she moved to New York City. She has performed in important festivals such as JVC in NYC, Rochester Jazz Festival, IAJE, Detroit Jazz Fest and Montreal Jazz Fest, performing with an impressive list of artists and bands such as Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, John McLaughlin, James Moody, Bob Mintzer, Joanne Brackeen, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Patti Austin, and many more. In addition to her musical expertise Rovatti appeared in the movie, “Mona Lisa Smile” featuring Julia Roberts.

In 2003 Rovatti released her first two CDs as a bandleader with the Elephunk Band and with guests Randy Brecker, Mike Stern and Don Alias. Her latest album, “Green Factor” is a unique recording with a melting pot of Irish/Celtic/jazz/fusion influences with strong harmonies and sophisticated arrangements. She has been touring with the Brecker Brothers Reunion Band and just released with the same band a double CD/DVD.

Bassist/composer Drew Gress performs extensively with artists on the cutting edge of contemporary improvised music. His latest project, “The Irrational Numbers,” features Gress’s original compositions for quintet. Earlier releases include the critically acclaimed “7 Black Butterflies” (2005), “Spin & Drift” (2001), and “Heyday” (1997). Gress can also be heard within the ensembles of John Abercrombie, Ralph Alessi, Tim Berne, Don Byron, Uri Caine, Ravi Coltrane, Marc Copland, Mark Feldman, Fred Hersch, John Hollenbeck, and John Surman. He has also grounded the performances of Buddy Hackett, Phyllis Diller, Zoot Sims, Cab Calloway, and Pia Zadora. Gress has toured North and South America, Europe, and Asia, and has served as Artist-in-Residence at St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia and at the Paris Conservatoire. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and Chamber Music America, and currently resides in New York.

Clarence Penn is one of the busiest jazz drummers in the world, a leader of multiple bands, a composer, a prolific producer, and an educator. Since he arrived in New York City in 1991, Penn has played with Ellis and Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Stanley Clarke, Steps Ahead, Makoto Ozone, Michael Brecker, Dave Douglas, Maria Schneider, Luciana Souza, Richard Galliano, and Fourplay. His discography includes several hundred studio albums (including the Grammy-winning recordings by Randy Brecker and Maria Schneider) and he has toured extensively throughout the world. Penn has also composed music for films and produced tracks for numerous singers in the pop and alternative arenas. He earned a “Ten Best of 1997” accolade from the New York Times for his first leader recording, “Penn’s Landing.” Penn is also active as an educator and drum clinician and has taught on the faculty of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Saint Louis College of Music in Rome, Italy, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Intensive Jazz Institute. His most recent recording is “Monk: The Lost Files” which features modern arrangements of the music of Thelonious Monk.

Support for this event was provided by lead sponsor, FirstEnergy Foundation on behalf of West Penn Power. In addition, Renfrew Institute receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Further sponsors include Franklin County Visitors Bureau, Stephen D. Fisher, and Renfrew Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; APX Enclosures, Inc.; The Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin; and the John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation. Facility support is provided courtesy of Renfrew Museum and Park.

Parking is available behind the visitors center, with additional parking in the lower lot off Welty Road. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, and picnics are welcome. Rain site: Waynesboro Area Middle School auditorium.

For more information call Renfrew Institute at 717-762-0373, or visit

The Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome Samuel J. Thrush as the newest member of the Chamber of Commerce team to lead Downtown Chambersburg Inc. (DCI).

Thrush joined the Chamber staff in mid-July as president of DCI and has spent the past five years serving on DCI’s Board of Directors as well as volunteering at events and participating on committees. He formerly served Franklin County as a Planner III and has over seven years of experience in land use planning and community development.

“I have always seen downtown as the heart and core of our greater community, and I’m eager to capitalize on my experience for this new position,” said Sam Thrush, president of DCI. “Our downtown offers people a sense of place, a crossroads of culture and transportation as well as opportunities for mixed use development, city living and traditional store fronts. I look forward to this new opportunity to work with the community and its stakeholders.”

Thrush recently graduated from Leadership Franklin County Community and in 2018 achieved the premier planning certification from the American Institute of Certified Planning. In 2016, Thrush received the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award for his outstanding service in the community.

“We are excited to have Sam on board to focus on business development in the downtown region as the leader of DCI,” said Stephen Christian, president of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. “His work ethic, enthusiasm and dedication to downtown is exceptional, and we are fortunate to have such a strong leader join our team to facilitate growth in our community.”

In addition to serving with DCI, Thrush has spent time volunteering with the Borough of Chambersburg, Franklin County Cyclists, North Square Farmers Market, United Way’s Stream Cleanups and Healthy Franklin County. Prior to serving Franklin County, Thrush worked for Bradford County, Pa. He is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in Geography-Land Use and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems. He is a native of Chambersburg and prior to graduating from Chambersburg Area Senior High School, Thrush earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.

In his spare time, you can find Thrush with his family and friends, at the Chambersburg YMCA, cycling throughout the countryside and in-town, hiking, watching baseball or playing his musical instruments. He and his wife, Jeana, have two children.

DCI is a non-profit focused on downtown revitalization through implementing the four points of the Main Street Approach: Design, Economic Vitality, Promotion and Organization. An affiliate of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, DCI recently completed a downtown visioning and master planning process that provides a framework for DCI and its partners to leverage the existing cultural, historical, retail and natural assets located in the downtown. For more information, visit To contact Thrush, please call 717-264-7101 ext. 204 or email

Totem Pole Playhouse Presents Mamma Mia

Totem Pole Playhouse Presents Mamma Mia

Totem Pole Playhouse, America’s beloved summer theatre, located in Caledonia State Park between Chambersburg and Gettysburg, PA, has announced that the Playhouse’s production of the mega-hit Broadway musical Mamma Mia! set a new box office record for advance ticket sales in the Playhouse’s 68-year history. To date, over $280,000.00 in tickets have been sold putting the show on track to surpass last season’s box office record-breaking production of Million Dollar Quartet. Due to the high demand for tickets, Totem Pole is reopening the 42-seat Club Section in the rear of the historic theatre which was removed several seasons ago. Mamma Mia! will begin performances this Friday at 8PM and Saturday at 2PM and 8PM with three low cost $20.00 general admission previews followed by the official Opening Sunday afternoon at 2PM. The production is scheduled to run through August 19th, a week longer than the previous three shows in the summer season.

Set on a colorful Greek island, the plot centers on a 20-year old bride-to-be, Sophie, who while reading her mother’s diary discovers the names of three of her mother’s former partners, Sam, Harry, and Bill. She decides to invite all three to the wedding without telling her mother, Donna. Sophie is convinced that she will recognize which one of the men is her father once she meets them. Donna, who was once the lead singer of a musical group, “Donna and the Dynamos,” invites her two former back-up singers, Rosie and Tanya. They all descend on the quaint rustic hotel Donna operates only to end up at a wedding that none of them could have expected.

Emily Ashton Meredith, who starred in Totem Pole’s 2015 production of Shenandoah, returns as Sophie. Playing her mother, Donna, will be Amy Decker who previously appeared at the Playhouse in several shows, most recently last season’s The Drowsy Chaperone. The three fathers will be played by Gil Brady as Sam, Ken Allen Neely as Harry, and Shawn Martin, who starred in last season’s Irving Berlin Revue, I Love a Piano, as Bill. Alexandra Melrose and Erica Hanrahan-Ball will appear as Donna’s former back-up singers, Rosie and Tanya. Playing Sophie’s fiancé, Sky, will be Max Falls with Breanna Ogaldez playing Lisa and Camila Paquet playing Ali, Sophie’s best friends. Taylor Kellas Warren, who played the Pharaoh in the season opener, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, returns as Pepper, and Stavros Koumbaros, who starred in the 2016 production of Forever Plaid, will play Eddie. Rounding out the ensemble are: Leah Hassett, Mary Beth Donahoe, Morgan Southwell, Alison Rose Munn, Hank von Kolnitz, Elijah King, Nathan Richardson, and Cody Parson.

The production is staged and directed by veteran Totem Pole director, David Caldwell, and choreographed by Christine O’Grady, her fifth consecutive summer choreographing shows at the Playhouse. Darren Server, Totem Pole’s perennial musical director, serves in the same capacity for this final production in the Playhouse’s four-show summer season. Jim Fouchard, who has designed sets at the Playhouse since 1982, is the set designer, Stephanie Jones is designing costumes, Kate Wecker is the show’s sound designer, and Jonathan Dunkle is designing the lighting, with Ryan Gibbs serving as the show’s stage manager for the three-week run.

Mamma Mia! is based on the songs of ABBA, one of the most popular musical groups of all time, who topped the international pop charts during the 1970s and early 80s. The musical includes such well-known hits as “Super Trouper,” “Lay All Your Love on Me,” “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Voulez-Vous,” “SOS,” and the title track. Over 60 million people have seen the show, which has grossed $2 billion worldwide since its 1999 debut in London. The film version of the musical starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan was released in 2008 and a prequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, opened in movie theatres nationwide last weekend.

Single ticket reserved seat prices are $50.00 with $35.00 tickets available for groups of 10 or more. Groups of 30 or more pay half-price at just $25.00 a ticket.

Club section tickets are only available by calling the Totem Pole Playhouse Box Office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (717) 352-2164; all other seats may be purchased on line at

Interactive Drum Circle at Back To School First Friday

Interactive Drum Circle at Back To School First Friday

The Downtown Business Council (DBC) and Council for the Arts of Chambersburg will present their annual “Back to School” First Friday on Friday August 3 from 5-8pm, sponsored by Noelker & Hull Associates, Inc. Architects. For more details, call 717-658-4372 or check the Facebook page of the Downtown Business Council. Artists interested in participating should call 717-816-7568.

Activities for First Friday will center on Chambersburg’s Square, with local musician Tresa Paul and her interactive drum circle providing entertainment: the public is welcome to join in! Other participating groups will include Chambersburg Rotary, Franklin County Literacy Council and Franklin County Domestic Relations. Refreshments will be offered by Pap’s Dog Stop, and Boy Scout Troop 128 will be selling jerky!

For more details, call 717-658-4372 or check the Facebook page of the Downtown Business Council.