The Gettysburg Civic Chorus is the community's oldest musical organization in our town. The chorus was formed in 1962 and has sung for countless civic and patriotic events, church services, and banquets. Highlights include singing for Mamie Eisenhower and the "Freedom Train", the re-dedication of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, performing Music of Lincoln's Day at the 1988 convention of the Pennsylvania School Directors, and entertaining at the fiftieth celebration of the Gettysburg Community Concert Association. From 1978 to 1984, three Gilbert and Sullivan Comic Operas were staged as fund-raisers for the Friends of the Adams County Free Library. We have recently performed with the Hanover Symphony Orchestra at their annual Christmas Concerts.
The nearly100-member chorus rehearses at Gettysburg Middle School each Monday evening in September through May, and gives four annual concerts, two in the Christmas season and two in the spring. A charter member still sings with the group and ages range from 21 to 80-plus. Our membership includes singers from Gettysburg, as well as surrounding Adams County communities, Elizabethtown, and Maryland. The chorus is under the direction of Bill Serfass of Gettysburg, and our accompanist is Sharon Hedges. (See their bios below!)
The past 50+ years have seen many changes in our community, not the least of which has been an increased interest and emphasis on culture and the arts. We now have art galleries, dance schools, "Music, Gettysburg!", "History and the Arts", and Brass Band Day, The Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra, The Adams County Arts Council, plus many concerts, plays, lectures, and musical events at the college and schools. Many of these did not exist just a few years ago. What a wonderful enrichment to our lives here in Adams County!
The Gettysburg Civic Chorus is proud to contribute to this cultural growth.
We would like to thank everyone who attend our concerts. We also appreciate your kind donations. It is only because of these donations we are able to continue purchase the quality music that we perform.
Bill Serfass the Director of the GCC. Bill was born in Stroudsburg, PA (he won’t tell us when!). His father sang under the direction of Fred Waring, and his mother was a church pianist at the local Methodist Church.
Bill graduated Gettysburg College in 1981 as a voice major with a B.S. in Music Education. While there, Bill studied voice with Kermit Finstad, Henry Ackley and Malverda Hook. He was a tenor in the Gettysburg College Choir directed by Dr. Russell P. Getz and toured Europe with the choir in 1983.
From September 1993 to December 1996, Bill was an Adjunct Professor at Mount St. Mary’s University, where he taught a one credit course to students preparing to enter the field of elementary education; they were taught how to incorporate music into their daily classroom activities and lessons.
Since January 1984, Bill taught elementary classroom music (K-8), currently directs the Franklin Township Elementary School Chorus, beginner’s guitar classes and fine art shows. His choruses have performed in the PA State Capitol for “Music in Our Schools Month” for over 15 years, as well as performing “The National Anthem” at Harrisburg Senators’ baseball games numerous times.
Bill guest-conducted the PA Music Educators Association District 7 Song Fest in 2000. While at Gettysburg College, he was a student teacher under the direction of both Mike Chase and Tom Kittinger, late Director of the Gettysburg Civic Chorus. Bill was also a member (briefly) of the GCC while under the direction of the late Don Bollinger, and has been part of the GCC rhythm section for many concert performances.
While working with Don Bollinger, Bill also was part of the company in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Yeoman of the Guard in the early 1980’s. He also played the role of Motel the Tailor in the Gettysburg Area Education Association’s community production of Fiddler on the Roof in 1986.
Since June 1990, Bill has been a managing partner of the rock band, The Willys, which is dedicated to performing popular music for dances, concerts, public gatherings, parties and festivals. The Willys perform as a five-piece full band, trio and sometimes a quartet. Their repertoire includes classic rock and current favorites by new artists, and have produced five discs of their own compositions.
Bill and his wife, Kathy Jo, reside in Gettysburg; they have two children, Scott & Laura. In his “spare” time, Bill also enjoys his status as an amateur bee keeper – how sweet it is!
Music has always been an important part of Sharon's life. She started accompanying groups as a sixth grader in Littlestown. A dedicated musician and accompanist, Sharon has an extensive background in music. She received her Bachelor of Music from Towson University, Towson, MD and also holds Master of Arts in Homeland Security.
Sharon has resided in Gettysburg since retiring as a Colonel in the United States Air Force in 2014 , serving 31 years. In addition to being the rehearsal and performance accompanist for GCC, Sharon accompanies voice students at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College, choir director and church pianist for Bart's Centenary United Methodist Church in Littlestown, pianist for Hanover Symphony Orchestra and music director for Hanover Little Theater musicals. She is a member of St. Johns Lutheran Church Handbell choir in Fairfield and a Mellophone bugler with the Lancers Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps. In her spare time, she visits schools and nursing homes with her certified therapy dog, Zoe. She is one very busy lady!
The Chorus is so fortunate to have Sharon as accompanist because not only does she do a tremendous job at the keyboard, but she also makes all of us a practice CD, based on our individual parts.