Varsity Singers light up PA Capitol

The ener­gy in the Pennsylvania Capitol wasn’t radi­at­ing from the 18-foot Douglas Fir that Gov. Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf lit dur­ing the December annu­al tree light­ing ceremony.

No, the ener­gy flow­ing in the rotun­da came from the melo­di­ous tones on the mar­ble steps. The mar­velous voic­es belong to the stu­dents who make up the Quakertown Community High School Varsity Singers.

This was a blast,” said choral direc­tor Jonathan Lechner. “It was an hon­or to be invit­ed. It’s a great oppor­tu­ni­ty for the kids. I’m awful­ly proud of them. This is one of the strongest groups we’ve had.”

The governor’s office invit­ed the Quakertown choir to be the only enter­tain­ment for the fes­tivus event. Songs included:

  • It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
  • Oh Christmas Tree
  • Oh Come, All Ye Faithful
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • Jingle Bells
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Wolf’s staff became famil­iar with the Varsity Singers a year ago when Sen. Bob Mensch, whose dis­trict includes Quakertown, invit­ed them to go car­ol­ing through the hall­ways dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. The tal­ent­ed voic­es were well received, and the governor’s staff remembered.

Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner was con­tact­ed in November by the governor’s office, and the per­for­mance was arranged. 

State Sen. John DiSanto, whose dis­trict includes most of Dauphin County and all of Perry County described the stu­dents’ show as “won­der­ful. It was such a strong per­for­mance. It brought a lot to the com­mu­ni­ty and every­body was singing along.” The sen­a­tor was kind enough to pro­vide the stu­dents with bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

It was a long day for the young peo­ple, who took a school bus from the high school at 8:30 a.m. for their noon per­for­mance. They prac­ticed after their 10 a.m. arrival, and after lunch in the Capitol build­ing, at the urg­ing of Dr. Harner, sang in the cafe­te­ria area for the appre­cia­tive public.

Later that evening, the Varsity Singers enter­tained the School Board in the District Services Center, and even had Dr. Harner dress up as the Grinch for one of their numbers.

School Board mem­ber Rob Diliberto, who trav­eled to Harrisburg to see the stu­dents, said of the per­for­mances: “I got goose­bumps. It was great.”

Dr. Harner com­mend­ed the singers and Mr. Lechner for their excel­lent work. He said the district’s music pro­gram, includ­ing band direc­tor Frank Parker, is “sec­ond to none.”

Governor and Mrs. Wolf cer­tain­ly agree!