York Town Square

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It’s ‘The Voice’s’ DaNica Shirey, from Tune Town, Pa.

A magazine spread circa 1950 about York, Pa., titled ‘Tune Town,’ said this about the photo, top right: ‘York’s crack Spring Garden Band, Lester K. Loucks conducting, strikes up a tune in Continental Square, the music town’s main crossroads. The boys own their own club building, make records, and play out-of-town dates.’ The magazine story also included a photo, bottom, right, of  soprano Trudy Doran, a popular York County soloist. Also of interest: Spring Garden Band: ‘It’s like being in the room with history’

DaNica Shirey’s prowess in making the top 10 in the TV reality show “The Voice” builds on years of York countians earning the national spotlight for musical feats.

An unknown national magazine, delivered to me by Dallastownian Lynus Strayer, gave York a two-page, eight-photo spread with this description of “Tune Town”: “Everyone gives a toot in York, Pa. The butchers and bakers are music makers. And even the factory whistle plays Christmas carols.

Why was York selected for the spotlight?

“Music in York is an integrated school-town affair,” the story said. “That was why the American Music Conference recently singled out York as model music community, after a nationwide survey.”

When the story was published 65 years ago, York had 50 choral groups not counting church choirs, 30 professional dance bands, a symphony orchestra, 100-plus Sunday School orchestras, 200 barbershop quartets, four volunteer fire company bands and a choir with 60 ministers.

So next time, maybe NBC should introduce DaNica Shirey’s hometown as “Tune Town, Pa.”



imageMayor Felix Bentzel – with bow tie in upper, left, photo – sings with a barbershop quartet which includes Wib Myers, Joe Rutter and Hen Kuhlman. Bentzel’s presence in the magazine article helps date it during his term, 1948-1952. 


The Voice - Season 7DaNica Shirey performs on ‘The Voice,’ in this photo from NBC. 

Also of interest:

Check out the YorkTownSquare category: Music and Musicians.