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Wayne Band pays tribute to former director Edelman

March 25, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • The Wayne Band plays a tribute concert Sunday at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waynesboro to honor its former director Asher S. Edelman Jr., who died in December.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Wayne Bartholow remembers watching his vocal music teacher sauntering up the aisle of a Fairview Elementary School first-grade classroom in 1953.

“Yes, we have no bananas today,” the children chanted as the teacher, Asher S. Edelman Jr., assessed their singing skills.

Edelman taught in Waynesboro-area schools for 35 years, served as choir director for various churches, and for 47 years directed the Wayne Band, where he continued to nurture the community’s musical presence.

The Wayne Band paid tribute to Edelman, who died in December, with a concert in his honor Sunday. Among the selections was the “Salute to Waynesboro” composed by Edelman.

For Bartholow, a tuba player, the “Salute to Waynesboro” touched him as he played off a handwritten copy of the music and recalled his former teacher, band leader and friend.

“I’m looking at notes he put to paper with his hand. That’s so moving,” he said.

Edelman retired as Wayne Band director in 1999.

His love of John Philip Sousa marches, the outdoors and a Civil War selection “The Blue and the Gray” tied into the music played Sunday at the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Flute player Susan Gift said she consulted with Edelman’s widow, Betty, when developing the program, which was attended by 100 people.

“I think he planted the seeds for the band,” Gift said. “The band is still going on, and we try to serve the community.”

Edelman’s grandsons, Brian Edelman and Chris Edelman, said “The Blue and the Gray” made them think of their grandfather.

“He wanted the Wayne Band to last forever. ... He would’ve been very proud of (the concert); he would’ve been impressed,” Chris Edelman said.

The concert brought tears to Edelman’s sister’s eyes.

“I think he would’ve thought it was a lovely, lovely concert and tribute to him,” said Mary Light, his sister.

“I think he would’ve liked it because of the selections,” said John Fitz, who plays the trumpet.

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