All American Christmas Show comes to historic Capitol in Chambersburg

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Hagerstown Municipal Band

The All American Christmas Show featuring the Hagerstown Municipal Band will take the stage at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18 at the historic Capitol Theatre, 159 S. Main St. Tickets are $20 for adults; $10 for 11 to 18; and $5 for 10 and under.

“My wish for this show is to stand on the stage and look out and see this grand theatre filled with children and adults having a warm and wonderful holiday experience together,” said theater manager Linda Boeckman.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.thecapitoltheatre.org or by calling the box office at (717) 263-0202. The box office is open from 11 a.m to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before show time. A discount for groups of 10 or more is available by phone only.

There is a military discount of $2 off per ticket at the box office window by showing a valid military identification.

In addition to the talented 50 member band directed by Lynn Lerew, the afternoon extravaganza will include gifted musical soloists, an audience sing-a-long, and a visit from you know who… Santa Claus.

Boeckman continued, “This spectacular musical holiday event is an opportunity for a memorable and moving all American holiday experience that can be shared by the whole family from children to grandparents.”   

The All American Christmas theme shines brightly in this band performance with such captivating musical numbers as:  Sousa/Foster’s “Stars and Stripes for Christmas” and composer Robert W. Smith’s “An American Christmas”.  An engaging audience sing-a-long will have children, their parents and grandparents singing  traditional Christmas favorites like “Deck the Halls”, “O Come, All Ye Faithful”, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and “Joy to the World”. The afternoon will be filled with a variety of great holiday music that everyone can enjoy.

“This is a perfect chance for folks who have loved the Capitol Theatre since their own childhood, to share an experience with the young people in their lives at a very meaningful time of year,” said Boeckman.

“Perhaps some young person or someone young at heart will be musically inspired or perhaps a talent reignited amidst the warmth of the season in the awesome setting of this beautiful 1927 historic theatre. To make this an affordable family experience we are offering discount ticket prices for children, groups of 10 or more and individuals with a valid military ID. Because of the theme of this show, we also wanted to offer the military discount to people who have served our country.”

The band

Hagerstown Municipal Band, directed by Lynn Lerew, is made up of seasoned musicians from the tri-state area including several retired military band musicians, as well as area college and high school music teachers.  This dynamic band will inspire with the unified sound of:  flutes, clarinets, saxophones, cornet/trumpets, tubas, percussion, trombones, oboe, French horns and a euphonium.  

Lerew, a long-time resident of Chambersburg and a well respected and talented member of the region’s musical community,  just completed his 37th year leading the Hagerstown Municipal Band, having played in the band for 10 years prior to taking this leadership role.  Lerew served as the director of Chambersburg Area High School Bands from 1964 to 1990.  

The event will also showcase:  trumpet soloist, Dr. John Pursell, the Retired United States Air Force Band Senior Ceremonial Trumpeter whose personal inspiration took his own career to numerous performances at the White House, the Capitol and other venues for four Presidents and Vice-Presidents, along with hundreds of foreign heads of state and dignitaries.  In his retirement he continues to motivate others with his vast talent.  Also, sure to make an impression on all who have the privilege of listening to him play, is euphonium soloist, Dr./Sergeant Neal Corwell, who is currently serving The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington DC as euphonium section leader of the Ceremonial Band.  Corwell has been featured at many prestigious events and venues to include the Lincoln Center in NYC and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.  

Bob Eyer Jr. will delight with seasonal favorites on the Moller Theatre Pipe Organ.  Eyer is the director of choral music at Chambersburg High School and Director of Music and Organist at Trinity Lutheran Church, also in Chambersburg. He is also well-known and loved by the region for his gifted and mesmerizing command of the Moller Theatre Pipe Organ housed in the Capitol Theatre. Eyer has played many famous organs throughout the country including the largest organ in the world at the Atlantic City Convention Hall.

Boeckman added, “I have personally witnessed the thrilled reaction patrons have to this organ, including the many young children who have experienced it as part of our annual Youth Arts Initiative. It is nicknamed the ‘Mighty Moller’ for a good reason! You never know what extraordinary musical moment in a person’s life will inspire hidden talent to unfold.  When the trumpets sound and drums beat and ivories are tickled from music sheets…when organ pipes resonate and slide trombones fascinate…music can certainly inspire individuals of all ages and it could very well happen at this show.”