Kris Harper, musical director of Mahoning Valley Chorale and Southside Fine Arts Academy, will share his Memories of a Lifetime.
He will speak for the William Holmes McGuffey Historical Society's Memories of a Lifetime series 10 a.m. Feb. 18 in the Kravitz's Deli meeting room, 3135 Belmont Ave., Liberty Township.
Originally from New Castle, Pa., Harper has lived in the Youngstown / Mahoning Valley for the last 35 years. He has been involved in music direction, production, education and performance in numerous schools, churches and community centers.
Harper is the former director of music / faith formation at St. Patrick Church in Youngstown. He previously served as the director of SMARTSings, through the old SMARTS program, when it was under the auspices of Youngstown State University. He spearheaded the John Knox Presbyterian Church Organ Salvage Project, which resulted in the historic instrument being relocated and rehabilitated in the St. Patrick Church, Youngstown.
As director of Mahoning Valley Chorale, he has overseen the expansion and diversity of program offerings. The Southside Fine Arts Academy founder is dedicated to exposing low- and moderate-income students to a musically rich curriculum and performance opportunities.
Harper obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Westminster College in 1981, with a major in sacred music / music education, with a concentration in voice. He received a Master of Arts degree in music education from the Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University, in 1995.
He is currently on the faculty of Neshannock School District, teaching music education in grades one through six and directs the high school choir. He formerly taught at Southern Local School District, Diocese of Youngstown elementary schools and at Westminster College, as an adjunct faculty member.
Harper resides in Poland.
This event is open to the public, with complimentary refreshments served. Admission is $5, and a 50/50 raffle will be held.
Entertainment will be by Delores DePietro. Reservations are required, but walk-ins are admitted, based upon seating availability.
For more information or to make reservations, contact WHMHS chairman Richard S. Scarsella at 330-726-8277.
The WHMHS also will sell the newly released DVD "William Holmes McGuffey: America's Schoolmaster" in celebration of its 55th anniversary. The society provides high interest public programming, at no cost, in an effort to keep the McGuffey legacy alive locally.
McGuffey is known as the author of the groundbreaking "Eclectic Readers," published in 1836 and still in print. His homestead is a National Historic Landmark located in Coitsville Township. Now known as the McGuffey Wildlife Preserve, it was donated to Mill Creek MetroParks by the WHMHS in 1998.