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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio


MTVarts actor revives classic Lynde role in Bye Bye Birdie

MOUNT VERNON -- MTVarts, local nonprofit theatre organization, is bringing history to Knox County's Memorial Building Theater by reviving Paul Lynde’s role of Harry MacAfee in "Bye Bye Birdie," portrayed by actor Ian Fraser Ernsberger this July.

Lynde, a graduate of Mount Vernon High School, was cast as MacAfee in the Broadway production of "Bye Bye Birdie" in 1960, and then again in the film adaptation released in 1963. This role was arguably the most notable of his career.

“It’s an honor to be playing such an iconic character originally played by the larger-than-life Paul Lynde,” Ernsberger said.

He said he will do his best to channel Lynde’s vibrant stage presence through his own performance. “No one can be Paul Lynde,” Ernsberger said. “There was only one Paul Lynde, but to be able to put my own spin on [the character] he created, while still paying homage to him, is what’s so much fun for me. I hope I do the role the justice it deserves.”

Actress Annika Wolfe, who is playing the role of Kim MacAfee, Ernsberger’s onstage daughter, said she is also excited to be cast in "Bye Bye Birdie."

“I was excited to find out that MTVarts would be putting on 'Bye Bye Birdie' this year because I’ve been a fan of Paul Lynde since I was three years old,” Wolfe said. “I would walk around the house quoting Templeton from 'Charlotte's Web'!”

BBBirdie Mark Fongheiser

Conrad Birdie (Mark Fongheiser) feels the love from the teenage girls in Bye Bye Birdie - photo submitted Westie Productions

Wolfe said she hopes to do her role justice, as a tribute to the original Broadway cast as well.

“I’m very grateful I’m getting the chance this summer to play a role as fun as Kim,” Wolfe said. “I’m hoping to make Kim’s onscreen dad proud!”

Rounding out the cast are: Aaron Moreland (Albert Perterson), Amanda Mayville (Rosie Alvarez), Mark Fongheiser (Conrad Birdie), Megan Evans (Mrs. Doris MacAfee), Bastian Stoneburner (Randolph MacAfee), Susan Moreland (Mae Peterson), Andrew Ruckman (Hugo Peabody), Alex Diehl (Harvey Johnson), Fredi Bockover (Ursala Merkle), Mary Harris (Alice), Megan Bell (Deborah Sue), Leslie Bell (Helen), Emily Waters (Nancy), Maya McDonald (Margie), Lacey Blubaugh (Suzie), Rachel Rinehart (Penelope), Joe Bell (Mayor), Caroline Pletcher (Mayor's Wife), Kerri Mahan (Mrs. Merkle), Kate Ernsberger (Gloria Rasputin), and Rodney Cheek (Maude).

Chorus members include: Kennedy Aikey, Megan Campbell, Isabella Fontaine, Joselyn Bates,  Madison Pisano, Elizabeth Day, Elle Pavao, Lacey Blubaugh, Luna Moreland, Lily Mayville, Caleb McNamara, Chelsea Olms, Leann Berg, Joshua Callahan-Foley, Mark Mahan, Nick Wheeler, Wayne Ellison, Daniel Barich, Deanna Hasty, Kyle Boucher, Abigail Miller, and Ben Moore.

Supporting the cast is Director Bruce Jacklin, Music Director Diane Dingler, Choreographers Katie Delozier and Ashleigh Zarley, Conductor Dane Heuchemer, Accompanist Corey Strinka, Costumer Debbie Hamrick, Wig Mistress Ruth Frady, Master Carpenter Joe Bell, and an extensive production/technical team including , Nick Wheeler, Ryan Severance, Bonnie Pickett, Rodney Cheek, Leah Miller, Megan Evans, Ian Ernsberger, Carrie Hyman, Janis Stone, Scott Swingle, and Carrie Haver.

Show dates for "Bye Bye Birdie" are July 7-16 and tickets may be purchased online at www.MTVarts.com or at First-Knox National Bank.

OSU Alumni Marching Band to return to Knox County


MOUNT VERNON - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni will present a “Summer Concert” on Sunday, June 25th, 2017 at the Ariel Foundation Park – Schnormeier Event Center . This concert is a FREE/NO ADMISSION CHARGE event, and will be performed by 60+ members of the OSU Marching Band Alumni. The Center will open at 1 pm for “first-come…firstserve” seating, and the Marching Band Alumni will perform from 2 – 4 pm.

Food service will be available from Ariel Foundation Park food vendors. Velvet ice cream will be provided for a donation to the OSU Alumni Club of Knox County Scholarship Fund. The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni is the largest all brass and percussion alumni band in the United States. The group is comprised of former members of the Ohio State University Marching Band ranging in age from recent graduates to members in their 80’s, and will be
participating in eleven summer concerts and/or parades in 2017 throughout the state of Ohio.

OSU Alumni band pic

The OSU Alumni Marching Band - file photo

The admirable reputation and diverse nature of the group has led to participation in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland, a performance tour of Germany, a visit to Osaka, Japan and a trip to Hawaii to entertain US Naval personnel based at Pearl Harbor. The Band performed in the 2015 DDay
Memorial Celebration in Normandy, France. The Band will be performing for the 50th Anniversary tribute for Vietnam War Veterans on Memorial Day 2017 in Hawaii.
Whether marching in a parade, performing a summer concert in the park, or entertaining guests at a wedding, the Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni take great pride in delivering a superb quality musical and marching performance rooted in the style and excellence of the Ohio State University Marching Band, better known in the U.S. as “The Best Damn Band in the Land” (TBDBITL).

This concert is being sponsored by the OSU Alumni Club of Knox County, with co-sponsor support from the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County, CES Credit Union, and Velvet Ice Cream. Attendees will be encouraged to make a donation to the Scholarship Fund of the OSU Alumni Club of Knox County. For additional information visit facebook.com/osuknoxalumni or osuknoxalumni.alumni.osu.edu.

“As a partner with the Knox County OSU Alumni Club in raising, investing, and awarding scholarship dollars, The Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County is pleased to co-sponsor events which provide quality family entertainment while supporting the education goals of local students”,
said Sam Barone, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County.


New Guitar store brings music back to Public Square

By Dylan McCament, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON - Marcus Brandenburg wants to bring music back to town.

"Music is my love," he said. "Apart from my children, I don't think there is anything that has brought me more joy."

Brandenburg, a Mount Vernon native, opened Brandenburg Guitar on May 15 at 37 Public Square, formerly the location of a smoke shop.

Visitors to the store will encounter drum kits, keyboards, as well as many kinds of acoustic and electric guitars lining the wall.

While he had an initial focus on guitars, Brandenburg said, the store offers "all things musical." He said he offers DJ services; he cleans and strings guitars; he gives a couple of free lessons to anyone who buys a guitar.

"I'm trying to get a feel for what the community wants. The store will become what they want." he said. "We welcome people to come in and play the instruments. Hang out and play. You don't have to come to buy."

Guitar shop Brandenburg


Marcus Brandenburg plays his favorite guitar: an Oregon Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar. Brandenburg recently opened Brandenburg Guitar at 37 Public Square  KP photo



Brandenburg said that he would like to see his store become something of a community center for music: a place for bands and a place for bands to find musicians. He said he had been a customer of the two musical mainstays in Mount Vernon: Jet Music and Flynn's Guitar Store.

Flynn's closed in 2015 after more than 30 years in business; Jet Music closed in 2016 after more than 50 years in business.

"That's part of my inspiration," he said, "I would have to drive to Newark or Westerville for just about anything music-related."

Brandenburg said that much of his focus lies in offering afforable instruments to aspiring musicians who are just getting started. However, he added, he can offer an $1,000 dollar guitar to the right person and will also track down more expensive, rare guitars to those who are interested.

"Growing up here, I knew that for a lot of the musicians in this community, and it just seemed like something that the community needed," he said. "There's been a great response. People seem very happy."

Brandenburg said that he hopes to form a musician's co-op in Mount Vernon and find a local space for local musicians to come to practice.

"A while ago. I made a personal commitment to pursue music," he said. "It's part of personal reaching out to the community."

Brandenburg said he comes from a musical family in which learning classical piano was required from an early age. He played trombone in middle and high school. He studied Jazz at Kenyon College for a time. Over the years, an interest in acoustic guitar led to an interest in rock music. He said that, in recent years, he has developed an interest in electric guitar.

"I have wide musical tastes," Brandenburg said. "I'm not pretentious."


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Free Yoga, Tai-Chi, Zumba classes this summer at park


MOUNT VERNON – Foundation Park Conservancy is offering a variety of free physical fitness activities at the park this summer, including tai chi, yoga, and Zumba®. All will be held in the Schnormeier Event Center and are sponsored by the Knox County Health Department, Ohio Eastern Star Home and the Public Library of Mount Vernon & Knox County.

“We’re so excited to offer these great activities, free at the park this summer, thanks to our marvelous sponsors,” said park executive director Carrie A. Haver. “For anyone who has wanted to be more active, wanted to try one of these classes, now is the perfect time. What better place than the serene setting of the park while being in the shade offered by Schnormeier Event Center? Get involved in these wonderful physical activities that have a variety of mental and spiritual health benefits as well. And bring a friend!”

Tai chi will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. and led by Marshall Winkle, starting June 19. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. Tai chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. In fact, because tai chi is a low impact exercise, it may be especially suitable if you're an older adult who otherwise may not exercise.

Yoga will be held Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m., starting June 20 and going through August 30. Participants will need to bring a mat. Tuesday’s sessions will be led by Hot Yoga Escape and Wednesday’s sessions will be led by Shakti Fit. Yoga is quickly becoming one of the most popular workout regime among those who are looking to gain flexibility, strength and even lose weight. It is great for reducing stress and allowing for greater relaxation. Yoga is said to have originated in India during the Golden Age, nearly 26,000 years ago. Yoga can do a lot for the human body and has been proven to increase health and body awareness allowing yoga participants to better control their bodies. From flexibility increases to better body alignment, Yoga can help with a variety of ailments.

Zumba® is offered on Thursdays from 2-3 p.m., starting on June 1, led by Amber Hawkins. Perfect for everybody and every body, each Zumba® takes the “work” out of workout, mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, participants will see why Zumba® Fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise. Effective and fun, it’s a total workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance, flexibility and boosted energy.

Ariel-Foundation Park, located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, is a 250-acre civic park that offers a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors of all ages. 


Knox Community Jazz Orchestra draws large crowd to AF Park

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor

MOUNT VERNON - The Knox Community Jazz Orchestra concert at Ariel Foundation Park drew over 300 people Sunday evening. The orchestra is in its inaugural season and is under the direction of Ted Buehrer who also plays trumpet with the group. 

The concert featured toe-tapping music by composers including Henry Mancini, Benny Goodman and more. Some could not keep their seats and were encouraged to dance. The finale, "Sing Sing Sing" by Benny Goodman featured a fantastic drum solo by Skip Trask. Special guest Mount Vernon native and professional trombonist Vaughn Weister performed two numbers with the orchestra. Vocalist Alison Cline sang several tunes with the orchestra including, Frederick Loewe's "Almost like being in Love."

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This talented dancing duo was among the hundreds who enjoyed Sunday's KCJO concert - KP Photo

The jazz orchestra is a revival of community jazz bands in Knox County that date back to the 1960's and the Riley Norris Orchestra. In the 1980's it was the Bob Bechtel Big Band and the Colonial City Big Band after that.

Orchestra personnel includes Buehrer, Saxophones: Ross Feller, Chuck Dettmar, Jack Eyre, Gary McCutcheon, and Bob Milnikel.

Trumpets: Dane Heuchemer, Buehrer,, Carol McCutcheon, Dan Laskin, Ethan Buehrer

Trombones: Bob Pelfry, Jim Frady, Bonnie Warren, Tracy Smith

Rythm Section: Andrew Clarkson, Jr., guitar; John Schmoll, piano; Andrew Clarkson, Sr., bass; Trask, drums.

The Knox Community Jazz Orchestra is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) arts organization that was incorporated in 2016.




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