Music Fest

ORGANIZER LINDA SNYDER hangs a promotional poster for the Hope Christian Music Festival, which will be held this Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Firemen’s Memorial Park in Summerville.

SUMMERVILLE – Summerville’s upcoming Hope Christian Music Festival on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Firemen’s Memorial Park is largely the result of the vision and organizational acumen of one person — Linda Snyder.

“I just kind of thought of the idea. We [Summerville] have a group of guys doing a festival in July called Barrage Fest, which is kind of hard rock, very hard rock. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, including mine. [Christian music] was more my cup of tea and I just wanted to be able to bring something different to the town of Summerville,” said Snyder.

“I was just brainstorming, trying to come up with different ideas. We have our Firemen’s Memorial Park and we just don’t do enough with it. It’s got a nice pavilion, stage and concession stand.”

Snyder undertook organizing the Hope Christian Music Festival with only limited event planning experience, especially for something of such a large scale.

Commented Snyder on her previous experience, “When my kids were in football, I was a football booster member, secretary. I organized banquets, we did a ‘Pink Night’ that I was in charge of that we raised money; I would do a silent auction, sold balloons, or whatever, and raised money for the DuBois Cancer Society.”

The Hope Christian Music Festival will, like Barrage Fest, benefit the Summerville Volunteer Firemen’s Association (SVFA); helping with the purchase of a truck.

“We have a 1996 engine that has been nickel-and-diming us, we just got it out of the garage after almost a month and it cost us $6,000. Upgrades and refurbishing would cost $60,000,” relayed Snyder, who serves as the fire company’s secretary. “We decided we’re going to buy a new vehicle. We were supposed to get it in August, but it’s, unfortunately, been delayed. We’re hoping we’ll finally get it in January or February. The funds from this [Hope Festival] are going to go toward paying for it.”

Two of the biggest tasks Snyder faced in making the festival a reality was booking the musical acts and securing event sponsorship.

Snyder found the internet to be particularly useful when it came to finding acts, noting, “It wasn’t an easy feat. The internet’s a great thing, there’s a place called GigSalad where I was able to find some Christian artists. I tried to tailor it to Pennsylvania because of gas prices. I didn’t want to make it too expensive for them to travel to the little town of Summerville.

“I did a lot of emailing and sending messages. It went fairly fast. The response was really good. I’m going to give credit to God for that because it just kind of all fell into place.”

Latest Videos

Scheduled to appear, rain or shine, are Sons of Mercy from Homer City (noon), Altoona’s Gospel Sounds Duet (1 p.m.), Rachel Heer of Warren (2 p.m.), Jordan and Miranda Pezzuti from Ridgway (3 p.m.), Brookville House of Worship’s Worship and Praise Band (3:45 p.m.), the Ally J Band from Mifflinburg (4:45 p.m.), Erie’s We Are Church (6 p.m.), Damon Covert of Bowie, Md. (7:15 p.m.), and Profound Revival out of the Pittsburgh (8:30 p.m.).

Jordan and Miranda Pezzuti will serve as Masters of Ceremony throughout the day. Joey Kolar of Reynoldsville is providing sound.

Summerville’s Mount Pleasant Church is offering children’s crafts, as well as a bounce house from 3 to 5 p.m.

Admission is by donation, with those funds going to the SVFA. Explained Snyder, “I’ve received enough sponsorship to cover [the cost of] all the bands and the sound guy. By their [sponsor’s] generosity we’re going to be able to do entrance by donation. If you’ve got a buck, drop it in the boot; if you don’t have a buck, so be it as well.

“My sponsors are what is allowing me to open the doors for a donation. I wanted to have a Christian music event, but I also didn’t want people not to be able to come because they couldn’t afford an entrance fee.”

In addition to donations, funds will also be raised via the park’s concession stand, and Snyder is hoping to have items available for a silent auction.

With an idea of expanding to a series of summer fundraising concerts featuring other genres of music in 2023, Snyder has modest hopes for this year’s event.

“The only thing I hope, I want to see a lot of people there; not because they’re going to donate, I want them here for these great music artists. I want people to turn out for them [the artists], not for me or the [fire] department,” relayed Snyder.

“We’re not going to lose any money, because I do have the sound and the artists all sponsored. Anything [money raised] is extra, above and beyond. I want people to come out and just enjoy an afternoon of inspirational song, an afternoon of good worship music.”

Recommended for you

Trending Food Videos