‘The Vogues’ rock Tyrone Area High School stage

No doubt about it! Saturday’s concert fundraiser at the Tyrone Area High School auditorium was a smashing success.
From the comedy and magic of Robbie Wise, to a spine-tingling performance by 11-year-old Vanessa Campagna, to a full-length show by “The Vogues,” Saturday’s concert sure had people clapping their hands and slapping their knees with enjoyment.
“I’m just absolutely, positively thrilled about how everything worked out,” said Chuck Banas, the library board’s vice-president, this morning. “Everyone I talked to said how outstanding each of the three performances were. A lot of people wanted to know if we were going to have any of them back.”
Ticket sales were “good’ by all accounts of library officials. Banas said late last week that around 760 tickets were sold for the event. When he opened the show Saturday night, he announced that total had reached 800.
“We’re just so thankful that everyone came out tonight in support of something wonderful in downtown Tyrone,” said Banas. “Everyone is going to have a good time tonight. It’s going to be a magical night.”
During Banas’ opening, he recognized distinguished guests to the show, including state Sen. Robert Jubelirer; state Rep. Larry Sather; Ray Nycum, who was representing state Rep. Jerry Stern; Blair County commissioners Donna Gorrity, John Eichelberger and Barry Wright; Tyrone Borough Manager Nathan George; and Snyder Township Supervisor Jim Chronister. Each offered a few words to the audience.
After the brief introductions, Banas took some time to speak with Tyrone Area School District Superintendent William Miller and high school principal Rebecca Erb. He told both educators that Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson were out back and ready to perform. Erb, being the more jovial of the two, was wondering about “revenue”; while Miller answered with an enthusiastic “no.”
A “virtual memory” slide show was then offered to the crowd, and included scenes of the Wilson Theater, other old buildings in Tyrone, photos of the Tyrone Guard and Fred Waring, a photo of the 1940 high school championship football team, and footage of the 1999 PIAA state championship game between the Golden Eagles and Mount Carmel.
Following the virtual tour, co-host Dick DiAndrea from Waly 103.9 introduced Robbie Wise as the first performer.
For a little more than 30 minutes, Wise entertained the audience with plenty of slight-of-hand tricks and off-the-wall humor. His laid-back style kept the audience\’s attention as he made things disappear and reappear, and invited numerous people to the stage for participation.
“I still don’t know how he did half those tricks,” said Banas.
Following Wise’s performance, 11-year-old Vanessa Campagna took the stage. Last year, Campagna, then 10-years-old, was fresh off a runner-up placing in the CBS Star Search Competition. This year, her voice and performance was even more refined.
Vanessa shared five songs with the audience, including Dancin’ in the Streets and two songs written specifically for her, “True Love Waits” and “Daddy’s Little Girl.”
Vanessa received a standing ovation when her solos were finished, but was called back onto stage by Banas for one last song.
“When she sang this last year, every hair stood up on my arm,” said Banas. “I hope she’ll do it again for us.”
With those words, Campagna took the stage for a second time and belted out a near-perfect version of “God Bless America.”
“I really enjoy performing here in Tyrone,” said Campagna. “Thank you all for coming out and supporting your community.”
After Vanessa’s performance, a 30-minute intermission allowed the audience to mingle with the performers, with opportunities for photos and autographs.
The final performance of the show was none other than 1960s rockers “The Vogues.” For what seemed like hours, the band kept the audience grooving, playing plenty of recognizable tunes.
“I tell you what, this sure was an awesome show,” said Blair County Commissioner John Eichelberger, who was accompanied at the show by his wife Charlotte. “Everyone seems to be having a good time and it’s a great way to raise funds for such a great cause.”
Saturday’s performance capped a strong and important week for the Tyrone-Snyder Public Library. On Tuesday, the doors of the new facility in downtown Tyrone were swung open marking the opening of the new library. On Thursday, local and state dignitaries from the area were on-hand for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
According to Banas, the 800 ticket sales netted about $17,000 for the board to use to help pay on a $250,000 mortgage for the new building.
Asked if he could clue northern Blair County in on the next fundraising event, Banas could only sigh.
“I think I’m going to take a week off and go hide in the hills,” Banas joked. “It is a lot of hard work, but definitely worth it. People are already asking when the next concert will be.”