Chambersburg offers brown-bag TGIF programs

November 15, 2000

Chambersburg offers brown-bag TGIF programs

By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Tired of eating lunch at your desk?

The Chambersburg Area Council for the Arts offers an alternative on Fridays with its noontime TGIF brown bag series that has spotlighted local musicians and dancers for eight years, said Lisbeth Luka, executive director.

This fall's series is half over, with four more hour-long performances scheduled, including the Air Force Heritage of America Band's Langley Winds Friday.

The free performances from noon to 1 p.m. in the Capitol Theatre regularly draw anywhere from 100 to 700 people depending on the performer, Luka said.


Luka said the council re-evaluated the TGIF series last year. "There was a large outcry not to drop the program by the audience and the performers," Luka said.

The TGIF series came back this fall, as did the winter-spring series at the theater and the summer program outside on the Courthouse Square.

"We did it because we felt there was an opportunity to allow local artists and performers a chance to do some work in a less formal setting," Luka said. "We wanted to get people to come each week and be exposed to all types of arts available."

Luka said people pick and choose which performances they come to and don't come to week after week as planners had envisioned.

But she said she isn't disappointed. "Modern dance is a little hard to sell, but even that audience is growing."

The crowd is multi-generational, luring school children from King Street and Thaddaeus Stevens elementary schools, local business professionals and retired people.

"For some it might be their only opportunity to see a live performance. A large number of the audience is retirees who include TGIF as part of their weekly schedule," Luka said.

Friday's performance features the Langley Winds quintet, part of the 60-member band based at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

"During summer concerts in the park, the service bands are well attended. They have a reputation for extraordinary music," she said.

Marguerite Newkirk, of Chambersburg, said she has been attending the TGIF performances since they began.

"They are just an hour and a very nice variety of programs," she said. "It's a relaxing Friday afternoon event."

Greencastle resident Guy Camp, who works in the area, attends most shows.

"It's great to be able to see some of the talents mainly from our local community," he said.

After Friday, the three remaining performances in the series move to First Lutheran Church on West Washington Street.

Dec. 1 features "The Rockin' Reindeer," a program performed by the students and staff from Franklin Learning Center. On Dec. 8, residents can join in singing holiday carols and on Dec. 15, the Chambersburg Area Senior High School chorus will sing Christmas songs.

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