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Franklin, Fulton schools' musicians expected to draw 1,000

January 18, 2001

Franklin, Fulton schools' musicians expected to draw 1,000



GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Greencastle-Antrim High School will host the 61st annual Franklin-Fulton County Band Festival Saturday in the high school auditorium.

The music begins at 2 p.m. when the two pickup bands, one for junior high students, the other for senior high band members, perform their numbers. About 1,000 people are expected to attend.

"The auditorium will be packed," said Paul Grane, music director at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School, one of the event's organizers.

About 230 student musicians representing 14 schools in the two counties will be featured. Schools include the eight public school districts in the two counties, Mercersburg Academy and the Scotland School for Veterans' Children, Grane said.

Musical directors in the participating schools pick their best students for the concert, he said. Smaller schools only send a few students. Larger ones send as many as 30.

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This week the students have been practicing in their own schools the selections that the joint bands will be playing on Saturday, Grane said. "They have to know the music when they get here," he said.

Two Greencastle-Antrim High School sophomores - Rachael Stepler, 15, a clarinetist, and Kari Walter, 16, a contra-alto or bass clarinetist - are among students in their school who will be playing Saturday.

The pickup bands will practice at Greencastle Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon under the direction of guest conductors, Grane said.

The junior high band, which will perform four numbers, will be directed by Mary C. (Susie) Kunkle, music resource specialist for Washington County.

Mark McCoy, chairman of the Department of Music and Theater at Shepherd College, will lead the high school band. That ensemble will perform five numbers on Saturday.

Grane said the joint concerts give the students an opportunity to play at a higher level then they normally do. "The schools tend to compete against each other. This gives the students a chance to work together and to know people from other schools," he said.

Adult tickets are $3, and students' and children's tickets are $2. Tickets will be sold at the door.

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