America’s leading ragtime & early jazz musicians return for a weekend of Ragtime & Rails
ROCKHILL FURNACE, PA. – The Central Pennsylvania Ragtime & American Music Festival relaunches September 24-26 in the historic twin boroughs of Orbisonia and Rockhill Furnace, PA.
The festival, launched in 2009, is one of America’s most intimate music gatherings, bringing Grammy nominated musicians to central PA, performing Ragtime, Jazz, and early American popular music. This year, the festival brings back favorite performers Adam Swanson, Frederick Hodges, Richard Dowling, Bryan Wright, Brian Holland, Domingo Mancuello, and Andrew Greene.
Tickets for the Central PA Ragtime & American Music Festival are on sale now at rockhillragtime.com. An All Access Pass costs $150, with individual events ranging from $10-$35 each. The Ragtime In Rockhill BBQ Dinner Train is hosted by the East Broad Top Railroad. Individual tickets for the dinner train are $60 for adults, and $55 for children, and are available at the EBT’s website, www.eastbroadtop.com/events.
“The Central PA Ragtime Festival is unlike any other music event in the United States,” said Andrew Greene, who also serves as Festival Coordinator. “Where else can you hear America’s first popular music forms in a town whose history ties perfectly with genre? And this year, we’re so excited to partner with the newly restored East Broad Top Railroad to create brand new experiences for our concert goers.”
2021’s festival begins Friday September 24th at the East Broad Top Railroad’s train station, 421 Meadow Street, Rockhill, PA, with a 7:00 PM screening of Buster Keaton’s 1927 silent film masterpiece, THE GENERAL. The feature film is preceded by Monty Bank’s comedy short CHASING CHOO CHOOS. Accompanying the silent films with live musical accompaniment are Frederick Hodges, of San Francisco, CA, and Adam Swanson, of Durango, CO. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for this outdoor film presentation, with a rain location of Orbisonia’s Presbyterian Church on Ridgely Street. At 9:00 PM, the festival hosts a welcome reception at the Iron Rail Bed & Breakfast, 471 Meadow Street, Rockhill, PA., where the festival’s musicians perform in an informal setting.
Saturday September 25th kicks off with a lecture entitled “Ragtime in Hollywood,” presented by Adam Swanson at the Orbisonia Presbyterian Church on Ridgely Street. Beginning at 10:00 AM, ragtime piano will be featured in free performances at the East Broad Top Railroad’s Orbisonia Station. The East Broad Top Railroad will be running diesel-powered excursion trains at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:00 PM, and the neighboring Rockhill Trolley Museum will be offering trolley rides throughout the day. At 2:30 PM, the festival continues with an afternoon concert at the Orbisonia Presbyterian Church. At 5:00 PM, the EBT and festival jointly present the Ragtime in Rockhill BBQ Dinner Train, which features a train excursion, dinner, and 90 minute concert.
Sunday September 26th starts with a music-filled church service at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 100 S Jefferson Street, Mount Union, PA. From 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, ragtime piano will again be featured at the East Broad Top Railroad’s station, and the railroad will be offering train excursions at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. The festival concludes with a 1:30 PM concert at the Orbisonia Presbyterian Church.
Andrew Greene, Festival Coordinator