Garbrick Brothers will be celebrated with sight and sound | Center County Gazette

Submitted by Penn State School of Music

CENTER HALL – The local community of Center Hall will be the site of world premiere performances of a new work of musical theater written to celebrate the Garbrick Brothers and their century-old history in Brush Valley.

The hour-long performance will be presented in Vernon Garbrick’s studio at the base of Center Hall mountain, just below the ramp of getaway trucks. The workshop was designed by Vernon Garbrick (1907-1987) and it was there that he invented the collapsible Ferris wheel.

Although there will be no klieg lights or funnel cakes marking the occasion, there will be films, slides, sets and costumes and a cast of four singers, all from Penn State School of Music, and four members of the group Open Music, a local avant-garde group, led by Kevin Sims, percussionist. Local filmmaker Pearl Gluck and her friends will provide cinematic interludes on the Center Grange Carnival and County Fair. James Kalsbeek, artist, architect and installation specialist, will provide the sets and special effects.

Local poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf designed the show and wrote the lyrics. She and composer Bruce Trinkley wrote five songs to celebrate Vernon Garbrick’s inventions and his family’s decades of providing carnival rides and food to fairs all over the region, but especially the Center Grange County Fair.

The cast of professional singers includes world-renowned opera singers Jennifer Trost, soprano, and Amanda Silliker, mezzo-soprano; the State College Choral Society’s favorite tenor, Richard Kennedy; and up-and-coming young baritone Carter Houston, who recently performed lead roles in several Penn State Opera productions.

Trinkley is well known to local audiences beginning with the 1976 Pennsylvania Wagon Train Show and Mountain Laurels, a choral symphony celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of State College in 1996. Julia Spicher Kasdorf is a nationally acclaimed poet who has long written about the region and its people.

Performances are Saturday, September 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is free, but a $10 donation is requested at the door. The Garbrick Workshop is located at 375 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in the Center Hall.

Early performances are sponsored by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Awesome Foundation, the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association, and the Penn State Humanities Institute.

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