Students, alumni make the music at Pa. school showcase

November 13, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Eleven high school students joined together Sunday afternoon to sing that "music is the common language."

Their voices filled a chapel auditorium with the lyrics to Joseph Martin's "Come to the Music" and launched the 17th Cumberland Valley School of Music Showcase Concert.

That concert found the common language among the school's students, alumni, faculty and special guests who performed a variety of styles for hundreds of family, friends and community members.

"It truly represents the breadth of talent, depth of talent that we have at the music school," Executive Director Andrew D. Sussman said.


New to the concert this year was the CVSM's student vocal ensemble of six girls and five boys who take private voice lessons.

"We had some really nice voices," Program Director Paula B. Hepfer said. "We certainly want to represent students."

The group, which had two rehearsals, opened Sunday's concert with "Come to the Music" and closed it with "Over the Rainbow."

"I had a copy of this arrangement of 'Over the Rainbow,' and it was really pretty. I thought it'd lend itself to bass and drums," Hepfer said.

The ensemble challenged some of the soprano girls to sing alto, they said.

The difficulty with that is "as you are singing, you hear the soprano and slip into it," said Gabrielle Saufilippo, 16, of Marion, Pa.

Other than the soprano/alto changeover and minor cases of nervousness among some students, they agreed it was a good opportunity to perform with friends new and old.

"I think we all fit together pretty well for being together two weeks," said Lindsay Whitelock, 17, of Chambersburg.

The students have been a part of the school for four or more years.

"I've been here ever since I was born almost," Lindsay said with a laugh.

They also plan to make music a part of their future lives.

Leah Risser, 17, of Greencastle, Pa., said she is looking to major in music in college.

CVSM offers three semesters of programs a year under the guidance of 53 faculty members. The school also has symphonic, string orchestra and jazz community bands.

Lessons are being given to 550 students from 18 months old to retirement. CVSM teaches in facilities at Wilson College, the Montessori Academy in Chambersburg, the Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy, and St. Andrew School and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waynesboro, Pa.

Sunday's gala was the first big concert of the school year.

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