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Arts community to honor Lerew

October 17, 2000

Arts community to honor Lerew



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Lynn Lerew was only 8 years old the first time he waved a conductor's baton, but right away he knew he would follow in the footsteps of the high school band director who had given that baton to him.

Fifty years later, the Chambersburg man is still directing local bands and will be honored for his dedication with the Bravissimo Award for a lifetime of service to the arts community from the Cumberland Valley School of Music during its annual GALA Concert at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Capitol Theatre.

Lerew said he was reluctant at first to be in the spotlight, but later consented when he realized the award would also draw attention to the Cumberland Valley School of Music and the arts community.

"I've always felt I'd done my job. I just did what I was paid to do," Lerew said.

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He is the third Bravissimo Award recipient, said Paula Hepfer, Cumberland Valley School of Music program director.

"Lynn has touched so many lives in the arts community," she said.

Lerew can't remember a time when music wasn't a part of his life.

"There always seemed to be music in the house growing up," he said.

His mother played around on the piano and his father sang in the church choir, but Harold Sanders, the band director of the local high school in Biglerville, took Lerew under his wing at a young age and really sparked his interest in music.

"Music was my life, my focus," he said.

He fulfilled that dream by serving as band director for Chambersburg Area High School for 26 years after graduating with a degree in music education from Susquehanna University.

But after 26 years and teaching thousands of students, Lerew said he was starting to lose some "zeal."

"I noticed that I kept getting older but the kids were always the same age," he said.

Lerew shifted gears in 1990 and became the director of Human Resources for Chambersburg schools.

But he still keeps his hand in the local music scene as director of the Hagerstown Municipal Band since 1975 and playing with several local bands including the Capitol Dixieland Band and Slide Show, a trombone quartet. Lerew's main instruments are the trombone and the euphonium, which resembles a small tuba.

He is also president of the Chambersburg Area Council for the Arts and serves on the Board of Directors of the Capitol Theatre and the Cumberland Valley School of Music.

"I think I have the best of both worlds," Lerew said, but he still fondly recalls all of the good times directing the high school band.

The band would take a trip every year and made appearances at the Sugar Bowl, the Orange Bowl, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rose Bowl and several Washington Redskins' games.

Lerew is quick to credit his assistants, teachers and the community for making the Chambersburg High School band a success.

"It wasn't something I did by myself," he said.

Lerew said his wife and grown children, Lori and Rick, will attend the concert Saturday when he receives the award.

Tickets to Saturday's concert are $15 at the door for adults and $5 for students.

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