Music, Gettysburg! brings newest season of live music to Seminary Ridge
Music, Gettysburg! kicked off its 43rd year offering free live music concerts to the Gettysburg area. Performances run through June 12, 2023.
Music, Gettysburg! kicked off its 43rd year offering free live music concerts to the Gettysburg area this month with a performance by the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra and cello soloist Danielle Karppala on September 11.
Karppala, a Fairfield native, performed a vigorous Schumann cello concerto with guest conductor Ryan Kozak, another Adams County native, at the helm of the GCO. She later joined the ensemble for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3. In between, the orchestra played a mournful and pensive piece from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, and dedicated it to the lives lost on September 11, 2001.
The concert was the first in the 2022-23 lineup that will showcase instrumental, vocal, choral and jazz performances by local and international performers.
Highlights for future performances include the debut of a new jazz suite written by Buzz Jones at the Majestic Theater; Eric Fennell, an operatic tenor and graduate of Gettysburg College who now lives and performs in Europe; the annual Christmas Offering featuring the Gettysburg Children’s Choir; and Elena Millar and Nikita Burakovskiy, a female violin and piano duo from Eastern Europe.
“We try to balance between presenting local talent and presenting folks with national or international reputations,” said Mark Oldenburg, director of Music, Gettysburg!. He added the group enjoys bringing in touring ensembles, like college and military choirs, who are “looking for a place in the middle” between big cities in the area.
“Over the course of the season we try to have a variety of music, especially music that there’s not another venue for,” Oldenburg said.
Music, Gettysburg! focuses on classical performances, with “the heart of presentations” in organ and choral music, but it offers concerts in jazz and big band sound and has spotlighted distinct instruments in the past, like the harp or the accordion.
Most performances are held in the chapel at the Church of the Abiding Presence on the Gettysburg Campus of the United Lutheran Seminary. The partnership began, in fact, when the seminary (at the time Gettysburg Seminary) renovated the chapel in 1980 and installed a new organ. Choral and organ concerts to celebrate the dedication were so well attended, founders discussed the idea of hosting concert series on a regular basis, Oldenburg explained.
Monetary support for the Music, Gettysburg! concerts comes from businesses and individual donors within Adams County. The funding allows the performances to remain cost-free for all attendees. That's a priority for Oldenburg and all involved with the organization.
“A lot of our donors are not giving so that they can come to the concert; they are giving so that the neighbors don’t have to worry about whether or not they can come to the concert,” Oldenburg said.
He added that he thinks “businesses in particular support [us] because it makes this region a really wonderful place to live with a diverse arts scene and arts performances all the time.”
“It makes Gettysburg a great place to live and not just to visit,” he said.
Sep. 25 Thomas Keesecker, piano
Oct. 1 The Jazz Tributaries Project (at Majestic Theater)
Oct. 9 Eric Fennell, tenor
Oct. 16 Eric Riley, organist
Oct. 25 Stuempfle/Folkemers Hymn Festival
Nov. 6 Sunderman Wind Quintet
Nov. 27 Advent Choral Vespers
Dec. 18 Christmas Offering: "All Earth is Hopeful"
Jan. 15 Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra Baroque Ensemble
Jan. 27 Robert Burns Night
Feb. 5 Felix Hell, organist
Feb. 26 Teresa Bowers, flute, & James Hontz, guitar
Mar. 19 Elena Millar, violin, & Nikita Burakovskiy, piano
Apr. 30 Gettysburg Children's Choir
May 14 Gettysburg Chamber Orch. ft. Tami Petty, soprano
May 21 Wayne Hill, baritone, & Susan Hochmiller, soprano
June 7-12 Gettysburg Brass Band Festival