The Polka Quads will bring their energetic Cleveland-style polka music and their sense of fun to Ephrata when they perform Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Eicher Arts Center, 407 Cocalico St. in Ephrata Borough's Grater Park.
Admission is free. Refreshments will be provided. Donations to the non-profit Eicher Arts Center, Inc. will be accepted.
Leading the Polka Quads and playing accordion will be John Salov, of Steelton in Dauphin County. Salov said the style of polka developed in Cleveland was based on the tradition of immigrants from Croatia and Slovenia, and featured the accordion prominently.
Salov says he was inspired to play the accordion and lead a polka band by the music of Cleveland's Frankie Yancovic. Yancovic won the title of "America's Polka King" at a bands competition in 1948; had a big hit with his recording of "Blue Skirt Waltz," based on a Skovenian song, in 1949 and won the first-ever Grammy award for best polka recording in 1986.
The "Blue Skirt Waltz" will be one of the songs the Polka Quads will play at the Ephrata concert.
Performing with Salov will be Jeff Dermes, accordion; Mark Dubravec, drums and Vinny Hurochic, bass guitar.
The Polka Quads have played a few times at the Eicher, and Salov said they appreciate the venue. The polka musicians like being close to the audience, listening to their song requests and joking with them.
"We always have fun there," Salov said.
The Oct. 13 performance is part of the 2019 series of admission-free, Sunday afternoon cultural and entertainment events at the historic Eicher House.
The Quittapahilla Highlanders showed off their colorful garb and their stirring bagpipe and drum music during a 2017 performance outside the Eicher Arts Center in Ephrata Borough’s Grater Park. Bring folding chairs to the park to enjoy the band when it returns there for a show Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. Admission is free.
Brad Crum will perform Elvis Presley-style May 19 at 2 p.m. at the Eicher Arts Center, 409 Cocalico St. in Ephrata Borough’s Grater Park.
Crum has been channeling the music of Elvis for 19 years. Dressing in the style of Presley’s Las Vegas years, Crum will sing songs from throughout Presley’s career, including “Suspicious Minds,” which became a Number 1 hit when Presley recorded it in 1969, and “The Wonder of You,” a Top Ten hit that Presley recorded in Las Vegas in 1970.
Much of the music Presley popularized still stirs enthusiastic audience response, Crum said. “It’s great,” Crum said. “The best it could be.”
Admission to the May 19 program is free. Refreshments will be provided. Donations to the non-profit Eicher Arts Center, Inc. will be accepted.
Weather permitting, Crum will sing outdoors. Audience members are asked to bring folding chairs.
The jazz group Temple Avenue will perform at 3:30 p.m. on April 7 at the Eicher Arts Center, 409 Cocalico St. in Ephrata Borough’s Grater Park.
The program is part of a series of admission-free, Sunday afternoon cultural and entertainment events at the historic Eicher House near Cocalico Creek; its starting time is 90 minutes later than that of most of the other shows in the series.
The Temple Avenue group brings a fresh and energetic approach to such musical standards as “Honeysuckle Rose” and “You’ve Got a Friend” as well as to some lesser-known musical gems.
In addition to dynamic vocalist Calli Graver, the group features Tom Strohman, woodwinds; Marcell Bellinger, trumpet; Colin Mekeel, piano; Mike Evangelista, bass; and Steve Tolnay, drums.
Temple Avenue got its start seven years ago when some teenage Lancaster musicians connected with some like-minded students at Temple University.
The jazz group they formed has performed throughout Lancaster County and beyond, entertaining audiences at festivals, night clubs, churches and weddings.
At the April 7 event, refreshments will be provided. Donations to the non-profit Eicher Arts Center, Inc. will be accepted.
On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, at 2 p.m. Rizzetta’s Tones will celebrate the holiday with a performance of mostly Irish music at the Eicher House, 409 Cocalico St. in Ephrata Borough’s Grater Park.
The 2 p.m. performance will kick off the Eicher Arts Center’s 2019 series of Sunday afternoon cultural and entertainment events. Admission is free. Donations to the non-profit Eicher Arts Center will be accepted. Refreshments will be provided.
The Rizzetta’s Tones musical foursome is named after Sam Rizzetta, an American player and designer of the hammer dulcimer, one of several instruments the group plays at its performances.
Brenten Megee delivered the sounds of the season to the Eicher Arts Center in Ephrata with his program of Christmas songs at the Dec. 8 holiday brunch for the Eicher’s members and their families.
If you check out the website brentensings.com you can see clips of some of his wonderful musical performances and a schedule of his future shows. But you can also learn how a young man born with autism has persevered to achieve so much educationally and musically. He earned bachelor’s degrees in biblical studies and vocal performance at Lancaster Bible College, and a master’s degree in vocal performance from West Chester University.
The Eicher holiday party also featured Ted Kachel, a member of the Ephrata Board of Education, who dressed as the Grinch to tell the story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
Come to the Eicher Arts Center in Ephrata on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. for a special program about what life was like some 10,000 years ago in what is now Pennsylvania.
Author and storyteller Robin Moore’s program, Hunting the Mastodon, Running with the Caribou: Ice Age Tales from Prehistoric Pennsylvania, will feature his storytelling skills and natural history knowledge as well as demonstrations of primitive living skills using replicas of clothing and tools from that period.
His program, designed to appeal to adults as well as youngsters, will take place at the Eicher House, 409 Cocalico St. in Ephrata Borough’s Grater Park. The Eicher Arts Center, Inc. hosts a series of admission-free Sunday afternoon cultural events there each year. It also has in an adjacent building a collection of Woodland Native American artifacts and educational materials.
Refreshments will be provided at the No. 4 program. Donations to the Eicher Arts Center will be accepted.
Moore has presented more than 5,000 interpretive history programs in the past 37 years and has written award-winning books of Pennsylvania folklore and historical fiction, such as “The Bread Sister of Sinking Creek,” which was set in the late 18th century.
He received in 2016 a grant from the Mercer Museum in Doylestown to create a program about Pennsylvania’s earliest people, the Paleo-Indians, who lived in the region when mammoths and 300-pound beavers roamed there and deep layers of ice covered much of the state.
The Heidelberg Brass Band will perform October 14th at 2:00 pm at the Eicher arts Center, 409 Cocalico St. in Ephrata Borough’s Grater Park.
German and Polish polka music is a big part of the repertoire of the band, which has been entertaining the public in Lancaster and Berks counties for more than six decades. It has performed for 44 consecutive years at the annual Kutztown Folk Festival in Berks that celebrates the heritage of the German-speaking settlers of Pennsylvania.
Heidelberg in the band’s name came from its origins in Heidelberg Township, Berks County. For many years it was the Heidelberg Polka Band. It changed its name to the Heidelberg Brass Band to reflect the songs of other genres it sometimes plays, such as the Blue Skirt Waltz and Iowa Brigade Band March.
The band’s brass instruments includes four trumpets, a tuba, a baritone and trombone. Glen A. Beard Sr. is its drummer. A Lutheran minister, Glen A. Beard Jr. of Ephrata, is band manager, sings, sometimes fills in on the drums and adds humor and commentary at the band’s performances.
Admission to the October 14th show is free. Refreshments will be provided. Donations to the Eicher Arts Center will be accepted.
Mitch and the Moodswings will perform some of the top hits of the 1960s on September 30th at 2:00pm at the Eicher Arts Center, 409 Cocalico St. in Ephrata Borough’s Grater Park.
The rock and roll, soul and Motown music the band performs includes the 1964 hit single recorded by the Temptations, “The Way You Do the Things You Do;” Chuck Berry’s 1958 composition, “Johnny B. Goode;” and the 1966 song “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” which was a hit record for Gladys Knight & the Pips and later for Marvin Gaye.
“You can’t do this music without a smile on your face,” vocalist Mitch Mohler said. “We have heard countless times, "‘You have made us feel young again.’ That’s why we still do this. That and the fact that it’s just a blast.”
Adding their talents to Mohler’s are vocalists Lori McCarty and Olivia Marstellar, Rich Fitz on keyboards, Howard Boots on saxophone, Alex Steward on drums, Tom Day on bass and Dan Palaferro on guitar. Dean Weaver, sound man, also joins in on guitar.
Marstellar and McCarty began singing with the Moodswings about five years ago. Their contributions have grown in importance, Mohler said, and sometimes he refers to the band as “Mitch and the Moodswings and the Marstellar McCartiettes.”
Mohler grew up in Denver, Lancaster County. He said the spark that lit his interest in a musical career was seeing the Beatles perform on Ed Sullivan’s TV show. “They made it look like fun,” he said, “and it was.”
The Sept. 30 show is part of the 2018 series of admission-free Sunday afternoon entertainment events at the historic Eicher House. Weather permitting, the Moodswings will perform on the Eicher Center’s deck. The public is urged to bring folding chairs to the show.
Refreshments will be provided. Donations to the non-profit Eicher Arts Center, Inc. will be accepted.
Vocal Harmonix, an all-female show chorus, will perform great songs old and new on April 22 at 2 p.m. at the Eicher Arts Center, 409 Cocalico St. in Ephrata Borough's Grater Park.
Under the direction of Lori Jo Whitehaus, Vocal Harmonix blends its acapella (without instrumental accompaniment) singing with a creative mix of choreography and humor, infused with a little history.
Vocal Harmonix is the new name for the Lancaster chapter of Sweet Adelines International, an all-female organization dedicated to four-part barbershop and a capella singing. The chapter, formerly known as Red Rose City Chorus, is 56 years old and based in Lititz. It has members from Lancaster and nearby counties, with ages from 19 to 90.
Admission is free to the April 22 performance. Refreshments will be provided. Donations to the non-profit Eicher Arts Center will be accepted.
In 2013 the film "Pitch Perfect" about an all-female show chorus was a popular hit and inspired two sequels. The song "Cups" that Anna Kendrick performed in that movie is a version of a 1931 Carter Family song "When I'm Gone" and is part of the Vocal Harmonix repertoire.
Vocal Harmonix' repertoire also includes the Beatles' "I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends;" a medley of 1950s songs; "Over the Rainbow" and sacred and patriotic songs.
The Eicher Arts Center is hosting the April 22 program as part of its 2018 series of cultural and entertainment events at the historic Eicher House near Cocalico Creek.
Rizzetta’s Tones, a Celtic and folk band, will feature many Irish tunes and songs in a St. Patrick’s Day-themed program March 18 at 2 p.m. at the Eicher Arts Center, 409 Cocalico St., Ephrata Borough.
Admission is free. Donations to the non-profit Eicher Center will be accepted. Refreshments will be provided.
The four members of the band sing and play a variety of instruments, including button accordion, hammer dulcimer, silver flute, guitar and high and low whistles. The band’s March 18 show will kick off the Eicher’s 2018 series of admission-free Sunday afternoon performances at the historic Eicher House near Cocalico Creek in Ephrata Borough’s Grater Park.
Rizzetta’s Tones is named after Sam Rizzetta, an American player and designer of hammer dulcimer. According to Bill Stine of Rizzetta’s Tones, even though these aren’t strictly Irish traditional instruments, “They fit very well with Irish music, because of their ability to be both rhythmic and harmonic, going back and forth very quickly. They lend themselves both as exciting solo instruments, as well as being able to provide beautiful background material for songs.”
St. Patrick’s Day-themed concerts by Rizzetta’s Tones have drawn large, enthusiastic crowds to the Eicher House in March the past few years.
“Eicher Is small enough to keep the audience very close, which we like,” Stine said, “and large enough in all dimensions to provide a fine environment for acoustic instruments. Eicher draws a crowd of all ages, many of whom are very knowledgeable concerning the music we play. We find it all very satisfying, and that makes for a very pleasant experience for all.”
Tuneful melodies, energetic dance tunes and stirring marches of Scottish and music will resound through Ephrata Borough's Grater Park on the afternoon of October 15th starting at 2pm.
The Eicher Arts Center, 407 Cocalico St. in the park, is hosting the admission-free concert by the Quittapahilla Highlanders. The concert will be held rain or shine. If weather permits, the Lebanon County-based Highlanders band will be playing its bagpipes and drums outside the Eicher, so the public is encouraged to bring folding chairs to this concert. Refreshments will be provided.
Jim Scott, president of the Highlanders, said the group got started over 20 years ago in the Annville area of Lebanon County. He said there's a tradition of Scottish bands identifying themselves with a nearby body of water, so the Highlanders named their group after Quittapahilla Creek, a body of water that starts east of Lebanon and is fed by other streams before flowing to the Swatara River.
Quittapahilla, Scott said, is a word Native Americans used that means "stream that comes out of the ground under pines."
One of the tunes the band will play October 15th is "The Skye Boat Song," a Scottish folk song that has gained attention as a theme of the Outlander TV series, which is largely set in 18th-century Scotland. The Highlanders will also play Irish tunes such as "Danny Boy," and Scottish tunes such as "Auld Lang Syne." The concert will include a demonstration-lecture segment about the music the Highlanders know and love.
The band's garb is inspired by the "Black Watch" Royal Highland Regiment, which traces its origins to companies raised in 1725.
If you love Elvis, you won't want to miss Brad Crum - The soul and sound of a legend!
Brad Crum will perform his tribute to Elvis Presley on Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. at the Eicher Arts Center, 407 Cocalico St. in Ephrata Borough's Grater Park. Dressed in a jumpsuit like Elvis wore during his performances in Las Vegas starting in 1969, Crum will sing "The Wonder of You," "Suspicious Minds" and other songs from that era in the Presley style. Admission is free. Refreshments will be provided. Donations to the Eicher Arts Center, Inc. will be accepted.