Kennett Symphony appoints new director

The Board of Directors of the Kennett Symphony of Chester County has appointed Michael Hall as the new Music Director.

With the retirement of Mary Woodmansee Green, the eight-member search committee that included board members and symphony musicians undertook a 17-month search for the new music director. The search process drew more than 100 candidates from the U.S. and abroad. Three were chosen to be guest conductors.

Michael Hall conducted the Opening Night Spectacular in September with music by Kodaly, Greig and Dvorak. The second guest conductor Rei Hotoda conducted the December concert Spirit of the Season with well-loved classics often played in the Christmas season and some fun novelties while David Alexander Rahbee conducted the March concert Welcome Spring! with music by Beethoven and Copland.

The conductor of an orchestra is responsible for choosing the music to be played, with help and suggestions from members of the board. Hall was chose unanimously and will begin his tenure as the new artistic leader with the September concert. Paul Meruzzi, president of the board of directors put the reaction of those involved succinctly, “We are thrilled with the unanimous selection of Michael Hall as our new music director. Michael brings a wealth of orchestral experience to the KSCC and our community, and we are fortunate to have him join us. His artistic vision, commitment to orchestral performance at the highest level, and welcoming, engaging personality are the perfect fit for the KSCC and our community at this very exciting time in our orchestra’s development.”


Maestro Hall’s career includes guest appearances with the Houston Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Costa Rica, guest conductor for eight seasons with Tucson Symphony, music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony for eight seasons, and associate conductor with Pacific Symphony in California for six years, where he developed innovative family concerts. Known for “his inspired performances, imaginative programming and passion for developing new audiences” makes him deserve a warm welcome in Kennett.

On a dull ,practical note, conducting an intelligent search for an important post is never inexpensive. The search by the committee was done well, but it did cause the expenditure of funds that were not in the budget. Luckily an anonymous donor has offered a matching gift of $20,000 to defray expenses. The symphony has raised a little over $14,000. If anyone would like to help, the address of the Kennett Symphony of Chester County is Box 72, Kennett Square, PA 19348.


The 17th annual Kennett Brewfest to be held October 11 has its tickets on sale from They give no phone number. Tickets are connoisseur tasting - $70, (12 to 1:30 p.m., Regular - $50 (2 to 6 p.m. and designated driver $15 (afternoon). There will be more than 100 local, regional and craft beers represented.


Winterthur is participating in the Blue Star program that offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families through Sept. 1. This includes the Downton Abbey costumes, but you should call and get a timed ticket.

The tram estate tours on Wednesdays from June through September at 4:40 p.m. have reopened. They are ed by a specially trained guide, and reservations are recommended.

Enchanted Summer Day – in the Enchanted Woods on June 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with crafts, games, Celtic musicians, a strolling storyteller and a magician.

Lectures being given will be “Men’s Fashions in Downton Abbey” on June 8 at 2:30 p.m. when historian Curt DiCamillo explains how 18th and 19th century British ruling classes used jewels; and Einav Rabinovitch traces women’s liberation in the “Roaring Twenties through Downton Abbey Fashions” on June 19 at 12:15 p.m. On June 12 at 12:15 p.m., staff member Catherine Roeber discuses American school dining history, including H.F. du Pont’s college cookbook and the Harvard butter riots.


Artist Jack Giangiulio will show the process an artist goes through from an idea to a final product on this Sunday, June 8th from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Longwood Art Gallery. As space is limited please register for this free event by calling 610-444-0146.


Longwood Gardens will close this Saturday at 2 p.m. to everyone except ticket holders to their Wine & Jazz Festival. The festival is sold out.


Historic Primitive Hall will host a lecture, “Trekking Through Chester County: Rediscovering 18th Century Furniture,” by Wendy A. Cooper, curator emerita of furniture at Winterthur on Wednesday, June 11. She will discuss the treasure trove of painted and inlaid furniture made in southeastern Pennsylvania between 1725 and 1850. She will discuss furniture made solely in Chester County, part of which would become Delaware County in 1789 The reception will be at 6 p.m. with the lecture at 7 p.m. Tickets for the lecture ($35) may be obtained from Primitive Hall, P.O. Box 489, Unionville, PA19375.


The Delaware Museum of Natural History will show the hit Disney film “Frozen” on June 6 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This story of optimist Anna and mountain man Kristoff with his loyal reindeer Sven go on an epic journey with mystical trolls, Everest-like conditions and a snowman named Olaf. Visitors are encouraged to dress like their favorite character in “Frozen” while they get their faces painted and munch on snacks, popcorn and hot dogs. Tickets are $5 for museum members and $8 for non-members. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the film begins at 6:15 p.m. Pre-registration via the website ( is strongly recommended as this event is limited to 120 tickets.


The London Grove Meeting is celebrating its 300th Anniversary with a lecture on June 14 at 7:30 p.m. at 500 W. Street Road, West Marlborough. The public is invited to hear Seth Hinshaw, senior preservation planner and architectural historian, who will speak on “Quaker Architecture and Meetinghouses.”


If you have wondered what your teenagers are thinking and saying, go see “13 the Musical” at the media Theatre, 104 E. State St., Media. With a cast of teenagers, this recreation of the Broadway show is authentic. You will have to hurry, as it only runs through this Sunday, June 8. For tickets call 610 - 891-0100.


The Media Theatre, 104 E. State St., Media, will present the musical “Cinderella” in June, July and August on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at noon. Tickets are $12 for a child and $15 for adults. They are offering glass slipper parties for $30 each that include a show ticket, pizza, cupcakes, punch, and gift bag and meeting with the cast. (12 or more only) For tickets call 610-891-0100.


The first North American tour of the new stage adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” will be in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music this week June 3 through 8. This production has all the songs from the award winning movie score plus some new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, which is pretty special. For tickets call 215-731-3333.


The Kennett Senior Center will hold an indoor yard sale this Saturday, June 7 at the Senior Center. There are always treasures to be found at these sales -- just the things you didn’t know you needed.


The timeless story of “The Wizard of Oz” by Frank Baum will be at the Player’s Club of Swarthmore on Saturdays June 14 and 21 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Sundays June 15 and June 21 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.This musical recommended for ages 4 and up has adult tickets for $10 and children’s tickets for $8, cash or check only. The show will be given on the second floor Raymond W. Smith stage. All tickets are sold at the door on the day of performance. The Player’s Club is located at 614 Fairview Road, just off Route 320 with plenty of free parking.

Sex and drugs

The hilarious one-man show “Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll” at Plays and Players, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, will be performed Wednesdays through Sundays June 5 through 21. After a lengthy run off-Broadway in the 1990s, the play is back with its cast of delusional characters who show how little has changed in our thinking. After the June 15 show local professors will show how to analyze a play, its themes and ideas. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door from or by phone at 866-811-4111.


That Tony Award-winning masterpiece called “Evita” will be at the Academy of Music Broad and Locust Streets June 17 through 22. This touring show is the first new Broadway production of the seven-time Tony Award winning musical since it debuted on Broadway over 30 years ago. I didn’t see anything wrong with the original, but this is one modern masterpiece, and it’s based on a true event. For tickets call 215-731-3333.


The Bristol Riverside Theatre, 120 Radcliffe St, Bristol, will open their series of musicales with “Jukebox Saturday Night” June 19 through 29. This nostalgia filled night will take you back to the days of jukebox music as you hear “Take the A Train” and “As Time Goes By.” For tickets call 215-785-010.


The Barley Sheaf Players, 810 N. Whitford Road, Lionville, will present “The Sunshine Boys” June 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21. This comedy about Al and Willie, a top comedy team that once entertained vaudeville audiences for over forty years now won’t speak to each other. When CBS requests them for a major “History of Comedy” retrospective, and they have a funny but grudging reunion. For tickets to this amateur but excellent theatre group call 610-363-7075.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.