About Us

Since 2009, the twin boroughs of Rockhill Furnace and Orbisonia, Pennsylvania have been filled with the strains of America's first popular music: Ragtime, brought to life by some of America's leading ragtime piano players.

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Enjoy America's Original Music in one of its most historic towns!

 

Join us September 22-25 2022 for the 13th Annual Central Pennsylvania Ragtime & American Music Festival. Four fun-filled days of music, silent movies, lectures, open houses, and more. Hear Ragtime favorites, Jazz, Boogie-Woogie, Stride, Blues, and hits from the Great American Songbook, all performed by Grammy Award winning musicians. Plus, enjoy rides on the town's two signature attractions, the historic East Broad Top Railroad, and the neighboring Rockhill Trolley Museum!


Our festival is by far the most intimate of the ragtime gatherings - where else in America can you enjoy our nation's musical heritage in such a historic setting? Past performers include Adam Swanson, Frederick Hodges, Martin Spitznagel, Bryan & Yuko Wright, Brian Holland, Danny Coots, Domingo Mancuello, Joey Antico, Bill Edwards, Andrew Greene and the Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra, Ed Clute, Daniel Souvigny, Richard Dowling, and Joyce Richardson. Come join us for some great music!

The festival is currently managed by Andrew Greene, founder and director of the Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra (www.peacherineragtime.com).

2022 Performer Lineup

Frederick Hodges

 

Hailed in the press as one of the top concert pianists in the world, Frederick Hodges has established a reputation specializing in late romantic music as well as Ragtime, Broadway, and Hollywood musicals of the first half of the twentieth century by America’s best composers, such as George Gershwin and Cole Porter. He maintains a busy concert schedule of stage, television, radio, and film appearances around the globe. He regularly performs as guest soloist with the California Pops Orchestra and the Pasadena Pops Orchestra, under the baton of Michael Feinstein. Additionally, he is a much sought-after silent film accompanist for both live performances and DVD. He performs regularly at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in California, the Cinecon Film Festival in Hollywood, The TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and at silent film festivals around the country. He also performs at music festivals around the country, such as the Sacramento Music Festival, the West Coast Ragtime Festival, and the Sedalia Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. His website is: www.frederickhodges.com.

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Brian Holland

 

Brian Holland is an internationally renowned pianist, composer, recording artist, and entertainer who has enjoyed a music career spanning more than 40 years. Brian spent his formative youth playing in pizza parlors and clubs throughout Indiana and the Midwest. In 1999, he won his third consecutive title in the World Old-Time Piano Playing Championships, and was retired from competition. Brian has performed with some of the hottest jazz bands in the US - Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet, Big B.A.D. Rhythm, GROOVUS, Holland-Coots Swingin' West, and others - and has traveled all over the world performing his creative styles of jazz, ragtime, stride, swing, boogie, and blues. Brian has multiple solo and ensemble recordings to his credit (available at www.shanesmohawk.com), and earned a Grammy nomination for his performance with Bud Dresser on their 2006 album, Ragtime-Goodtime-Jazz. From 2015-2020, Brian served as the Artistic Director for the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival (Sedalia, MO). He is currently Co-Creative Consultant for the Monterey Jazz Bash by the Bay (Monterey, CA).

Adam Swanson

 

Adam Swanson is one of the world’s foremost performers of vintage American popular music, including ragtime, early jazz, the Great American Songbook, and more. He holds a bachelor’s in classical piano and a master’s in musicology from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Adam has been a featured performer and lecturer at ragtime and jazz festivals across the United States and abroad, and he is the only four-time winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. He made his New York debut in Carnegie Hall at the age of nineteen, where he performed with Michael Feinstein. Adam has performed at the Cinecon Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the Kennedy Center, as well as in Hungary, Switzerland, and Australia. He has worked with such musicians as Toronto’s John Arpin, former rock star Ian Whitcomb, and legendary 1950s recording artist Johnny Maddox, who was one of Adam’s greatest influences. Adam frequently performs at the Historic Strater Hotel where he makes his home in Durango, Colorado. Visit Adam online: www.adamgswanson.com.

Martin Spitznagel

Whether performing the masterworks of Scott Joplin or the score to Star Wars, Martin Spitznagel is truly at home on the piano bench. A sought-after performer and decorated composer, he found success early, winning a Yamaha Disklavier at the age of 14 in ​Calliope Media’s nationwide Crazy for Ragtime competition. His entry, chosen from the hundreds of submissions by a panel of judges that included world‐renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, coincided with the centennial of the birth of ragtime music in 1897.

Despite this early success, Martin was largely self‐guided until 1998, when he met Eastman School of Music pianist and pedagogue Dr. Tony Caramia, who challenged him to “find the surprise” in every performance. 

In 2011, Martin was selected as the Scott Joplin Foundation’s Artist in Residence, and in May he claimed the title “World Champion of Old‐Time Piano Playing ” at the World Championship Old‐Time Piano Playing Contest

Danny Coots

 

It was 1964 in upstate New York when Danny Coots began playing drums at the tender age of 6 years old. Since then, he has studied with Nick Baffaro, Rich Holly, Alan Koffman and Jim Petercsak in percussion.

Danny attended The Crane School of Music and St. Lawrence University.  He eventually served as adjunct faculty at St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University and Potsdam State University from the 1970s into the 1990s.

He continued traveling and performing with David Amram, Ray Shiner, Daniel Pinkham, Herb Ellis, Will Alger, Jack Mayhue, Speigle Wilcox, Mimi Hines, Phil Ford, Bob Darch, Pearl Kaufman and Arthur Duncan. 

In 1996 Danny moved to Nashville, Tennessee and has lived there ever since. Danny has recorded extensively in Nashville, New York and L.A. and has appeared in over 100 countries. He has played on over 100 recordings, one of which won a Grammy in 2005.

After moving to Tennessee, Danny joined the Jack Daniel’s Silver Cornet Band for 5 years and helped found the Titan Hot Seven. During this time he played and recorded with Dick Hyman, Houston Person, Bob Wilber, Johnny Varro, Jeff Coffin, Tim Laughlin, Harry Allen, Dave Hungate, Bill Allred, John Allred, Randy Reinhart, Ron Hockett, John Cocuzzi, John Sheridan, Dan Barrett, Vince Giordano, Rebecca Kilgore, Ken Peplowski, Duke Heitger, Neville Dickie, Bob Shultz, Nicki Parrott, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Yve Evans, Chuck Hedges, Warren Vache and Allen Vache to name a few.

Andrew Greene, Festival Director

 

Andrew Greene is a leading authority on orchestral ragtime and silent film accompaniment in the United States. He is the Founder, Conductor, and Director of the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra, "the premier American Ragtime ensemble" as hailed by the Washington Post, dedicated to preserving and performing America's original popular music: Ragtime. He has appeared such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution, The American Film Institute, and the Library of Congress, and frequently lectures and performs with his orchestra and in solo piano concerts across the United States. Most recently, he has appeared at the West Coast Ragtime Festival, The Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, and at other events.​ Mr. Greene appeared as guest conductor for the South Dakota Symphony Chamber Orchestra in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in September of 2013, and the Fremont Symphony Orchestra in March of 2017.

The Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra

 

The Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra (PRSO) is the leading professional ragtime orchestra in the United States. Under the direction of virtuoso Andrew Greene, PRSO recreates the syncopated stylings of a bygone era - Ragtime, Theater, and Dance music, along with underscoring classic silent films using an immense archive of over 15,000 original orchestral scores.

A crowd favorite while performing at venues from The Kennedy Center, The Library of Congress, The American Film Institute, historic theaters, major performing arts centers, universities and more across the United States... PRSO is also a favorite on radio stations everywhere!

Their programs highlight the music of the late 1800s and early 1900s, with selections by composers such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, W.C. Handy, Eubie Blake, George M. Cohan, and of course, the King of Ragtime, Scott Joplin. Their silent film programs feature the biggest names of the day (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd Laurel & Hardy, Douglas Fairbanks, and more), and have earned them worldwide recognition and fame.

Peacherine records for Rivermont Records (www.rivermontrecords.com), whose recordings on CD and vinyl have been praised as "first class", "wonderful, toe tapping fun", and "the most satisfying ragtime orchestra collections available."

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Bryan Wright

 

Bryan S. Wright is a pianist and Grammy-nominated musicologist specializing in ragtime and early jazz piano styles. With his wife, Yuko, he has performed and lectured on ragtime across the United States and abroad, including featured appearances at the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival, the West Coast Ragtime Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival, the Buenos Aires Ragtime Festival, and the Tokyo Ragtime Festival. He has also released two full-length solo CDs, Syncopated Musings and Breakin’ Notes. He is founder and executive producer of Rivermont Records, an internationally-distributed label specializing in ragtime and early jazz. Bryan is also an avid collector of 78rpm records, and he hosts the acclaimed weekly podcast “The Shellac Stack.” Bryan holds degrees in historical musicology from the College of William and Mary and the University of Pittsburgh.

Richard Dowling

 

Hailed by The New York Times as “an especially impressive fine pianist,” Steinway Artist RICHARD DOWLINGappears regularly throughout America in solo recitals, at music festivals, and as guest soloist with orchestras. Works of Chopin, Debussy, Joplin, Gershwin, Gottschalk, Ravel, ragtime, and early jazz figure prominently in his repertoire. He has received reviews that praise him as “a master of creating beautiful sounds with impeccable control of colors and textures,” as “a musician with something to say, the skill to say it and the magnetic power to make you want to listen,” and for giving “a superb recital that left the audience craving for more at the end.” He is a versatile recording artist with over a dozen CDs of classical, chamber, ragtime, jazz, and popular music. On April 1, 2017 Mr. Dowling performed the complete piano works of Scott Joplin in historic twin sold-out recitals at Carnegie Hall, exactly 100 years to the day Joplin died in New York. He is the first pianist in the world to perform the Joplin cycle – 53 rags, waltzes, marches and cakewalks – nearly four hours of music, all from memory. His 3-CD set, The Complete Piano Works of Scott Joplin, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2018. Veteran ragtime pianist Max Morath says, “Richard Dowling’s mastery of the Joplin rags invokes a tenderness that charms us and a technical command that inspires our admiration.” Dowling resides in New York City. Visit his website at www.richard-dowling.com for information about his upcoming performances and to read about, listen, and purchase his many critically-acclaimed CD recordings.

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