Music Spotlight:  Otan Vargas

Music Spotlight: Otan Vargas

This week’s Music Spotlight is shining on a musician with a truly inspiring story. He is a musician who is humble, self-made, and motivated to make an impact. This week’s Music Spotlight focuses on Otan Vargas.

Originally from Tondo, Manila in the Phillipines, Otan moved to New York in his 20s. Each day Otan worked endlessly during the day and when the chance presented itself, he would play music at night. Initially starting out by covering his favorite songs, Otan was establishing his presence on YouTube. Covering many 90s rock hits, killer classic rock tunes from the decades, and modern rock hits from today, people started to take notice of this man’s ability to entertain and give his audience what they wanted to hear. Each one of his covers and originals are refined by his honest, humble nature, and powerful, yet controlled voice.

However, one night Otan would receive a huge break for all his modest, yet hard work. While attending a concert headlined by Aaron Lewis of Staind, Otan was noticed in the crowd by fellow audience members. Long story short, Aaron knew of Vargas from covering his music online. As a direct result, Aaron was more than compelled to invite Otan to the stage to play Staind’s hit song “It’s Been A While”. The Staind frontman went on to say, “For those of you who don’t know, this is Otan Vargas. And he plays my songs better than I do.” The audience erupts in a mix of laughter and applause while falling silent as Otan begins his cover.

To this day, Otan has continued entertaining those that follow him and support him. If you want to know more about him follow him on Facebook to watch his next livestream. You can also support him on his patreon account ( ) or at his website

Council for the Arts Opens 33rd Annual Miniature Art Exhibition in Chambersburg

Council for the Arts Opens 33rd Annual Miniature Art Exhibition in Chambersburg

The Council for the Arts’ invites the public to the 33rd Annual “Miniature Art 2017” exhibition, sponsored by Ludwig’s Jeweler. The show is a display of tiny excellence and opens on Friday November 3rd with a reception from 5-8 pm. A total of 197 original works of art will be displayed: oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings; drawings; and hand-pulled prints and sculpture, many by nationally known artists. The Council, in operation since 1987, “Inspires, Educates and Creates Artistic Opportunities” in its Gallery at 81 North Main Street in Chambersburg. (more…)

CASHS Annual Art Exhibit on View April 30-May 12


Chambersburg Area Senior High School (CASHS) Art Department presents its 2016 Annual Art Exhibit April 30 – May 12, with open hours 10am-4pm daily at the school’s front lobby, 511 South Sixth Street, Chambersburg.

The Annual Exhibit will highlight eight seniors who are are currently enrolled in AP Studio/Portfolio Art and have taken art classes for four years at CASHS.  As members of the National Art Honor Society, their entire portfolios will be displayed, showing evidence of the growth, style, and individuality of these students.  Artwork by the 15+ juniors who are new members of the National Art Honor Society, will also be shown, and the remaining space will be filled with as much artwork as possible from students from grades 9-12.

In addition to paintings, photography, 3D sculptural pieces, works from Clay 1 and Clay 2 ceramics students will be displayed. In a new aspect to the annual show, teachers and staff have been invited to showcase their creative endeavors!

“Our students work very hard,” says CASHS Art Teacher Holly Strayer.  “It is so exciting to see all of their efforts on display for their peers, friends, family, and the community to view.  It is always one of our favorite times of the year here at CASHS.  We hope that everyone is able to attend!“

For more information contact Holly Baker Strayer at (717) 377-9891 or

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Announces Photo Contest for Cover of 2015 Visitors Guide

Grab your camera and take your best shot at capturing the essence of Franklin County for the Franklin County Visitors Bureaus Cover It: Franklin County’s Great Moments Photo Contest. The winning photo will be the cover of the 2015 Franklin County Visitors Guide.

Travel the trails of Franklin County through acres of farmland and forests. Trek back to frontier settlements and forts, stopovers along the Underground Railroad, and sites of Civil War raids and invasions. Woven between these stories of America’s history are the verdant, rolling hills and azure skies, old-fashioned ice cream shops, bakeries with shoo-fly pies and sticky buns; orchards in blossom; theatres and inns, meandering trails and streams, golf courses, and charming towns. Capture Franklin County in your photo and not only will the photo be the cover of the 2015 visitors guide, but the photographer will win $250 in cash.

In addition, the Franklin County Visitors Bureau is seeking photos for a new publication, Franklin Fresh: The Fresh Food & Dining Guide of Franklin County PA. Two $100 prizes will be awarded to the top “fresh food” photos–whether they depict a fresh food product grown or produced in Franklin County or plated food, which transformed produced-in-Franklin-County foods into an appetizer, entree, salad, or dessert and served in a Franklin County restaurant.

L.A. Cameras is co-sponsoring the photo contest and is offering a $50 gift certificate–redeemable at L.A. Cameras–as an honorable mention prize. The contest kicks off March 6. All submissions must be received by the Franklin County Visitors Bureau by May 1 at 4 PM.

Spring is just around the corner. Welcome those first warm, sunny days with camera in-hand, and take your best shots of Franklin County and a chance at having your photo on the cover of the 2015 visitors guide.

Entry rules and directions are online at, visiting LA Cameras at 1019 Wayne Avenue in Chambersburg, or by calling the Franklin County Visistors Bureau, 717-552-2977 or 866-646-8060.

The Mercersburg Area Community Chorus Begins Rehearsals

The Mercersburg Area Community Chorus Begins Rehearsals

MERCERSBURG, PA – The Mercersburg Area Community Chorus will begin rehearsals for its holiday concerts at 7 PM on Tuesday, September 23rd, with rehearsals continuing throughout the fall on Tuesday evenings at 7 PM at the James Buchanan Middle School in Mercersburg.  The chorus, accompanied by full orchestra under the direction of Richard Rotz, will perform its holiday concerts on December 6 & 7 at the Mercersburg Academy Chapel.

Music for the Mercersburg Area Community Chorus’ 2014 holiday concert series will include Magnificat by Bach, Gloria by Rutter and various anthems and carols.

Persons interested in participating should call the Chorus’ office at 717-328-2324.  No auditions are required to join the Chorus, and persons of all levels of musical training make up the group.  High school students in particular are encouraged to join! The rehearsal space is located at the south-west corner of the JB Middle School (nearest Mercersburg).  Directions for parking, and other information about the Chorus, are on the website, www.

Founded in 1975, The Mercersburg Area Community Chorus performs two series of concerts each year, and will feature over 110 singers from the tri-state region at the December concerts.  For further information about the Mercersburg Area Community Chorus and its upcoming performances, call 717-328-2324.

Corks and Clay Series continues on September 23 with lidded boxes

Corks and Clay is a new series of workshops offered by the Ceramics Arts Center of Waynesboro, 13 South Church Street, Waynesboro, PA. Each workshop will feature a specific ceramic project, taught by one of the center’s studio instructors who will lead the class participants through the project in a step-by-step process.

The second Corks and Clay session will be held on Tuesday, September 23 from 6 to 8 PM. The participants will create a lidded box from slabs of clay. This project will be repeated on Thursday, October 9 from 6 to 8 PM. Each of these two sessions will be led by Trudy Gembe-Palughi. The cost is $30.00 per person and includes all tools, materials and firings. Class size is limited to eight and participants are encouraged to bring their own beverages and snacks.

Gembe-Palughi currently teaches art at the Waynesboro Area Senior High School. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Art Education from Millersville University and a Masters of Liberal Arts from McDaniel College. She has taught art in the Waynesboro Area School District for more than 30 years.

In addition to the scheduled Corks and Clay sessions the Ceramic Arts Center will also offer individual Corks and Clay classes for groups of 6 to 8 adults, dates and times to be arranged. For more information, contact the center’s executive director, James Smith, at To register for a scheduled workshop session, go to