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Park performance a popular summer treat

July 28, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The music of the British Isles - Irish, Scottish and Celtic - wafted through the summer evening air Thursday at Memorial Park as the Summer Concerts in the Park series featured Cormorant's Fancy of Gettysburg, Pa.

"We came on purpose because we knew they were going to be here," said Ginny Gill of Chambersburg. She and her husband, Ken, catch most of the summer concerts, but have seen Cormorant's Fancy several other times.

The Gills had called Lloyd and Debbie Harris of Smithsburg to join them for the performance.

"All four of us have been to Ireland, so we know the music," Ginny Gill said.

"This was more like going to the pubs," Debbie Harris said.

About 150 people set up lawn chairs or spread out on the grass before the Kiwanis Bandshell for the show. Lacking the inhibitions that come with age, a young boy and girl cavorted by the stage, at one point stalking a rabbit that somehow wandered onto the scene.

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Kelly Thomas of Chambersburg said her appetite for Celtic music was whetted by a trip to Scotland a few years ago.

The summer concert series has been a collaboration of the Council for the Arts in Chambersburg and the borough, said Anne Finucane, the council's program director.

"The Recreation Department does the scheduling, and the arts council is the conduit for money" from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Finucane said. "The beginning of the arts council was actually the beginning of the summer concert series."

While it was a good crowd for a comfortable summer night, Finucane said service bands, such as the U.S. Navy's Country Current, which performed last week, can bring in audiences of several hundred.

On Thursday, the six-member Cormorant's Fancy performed and sang "The Light Dragoon," "Arthur McBride," "Follow Me Up to Carlow" - a song celebrating a 16th-century victory by the Irish over the English - and other Celtic tunes, some centuries old. The band has been performing for about three years, guitarist Beth Folkemer said.

The others members - Stephen Folkemer, Joel Folkemer, Meg Folkemer, Dan Diviney and Andy Rosenfeld - performed on concertina, bass, pennywhistle, bodhran and bones and shared vocals. Stephen Folkemer is the music director at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, and Rosenfeld is on the music faculty at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md., Beth Folkemer said.

The concert series is eclectic in its scheduling in that no musical genre predominates. This summer has featured performances of patriotic, country, blues, rock, German, bluegrass and barbershop music.

The series resumes Thursday, Aug. 3, with acoustic folk music by Voxology, followed by old-time Appalachian music with The Martin Family Band on Aug. 10. The series takes a break for a week before the final performance featuring folk music with K.J. on Aug. 24, according to the concert schedule.

The borough also sponsors a Sunday Gospel Series, featuring King's Ambassadors this Sunday at 7 p.m. at the band shell.

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