by Joan Andrews
South Hills Public Relations Specialist
STATE COLLEGE -- South Hills School of Business & Technology will open the 28th season of its Summer Music Picnic Series on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Rain or shine, the community is invited to bring their lawn chairs and picnic baskets, to casually sit back and listen to the distinctive barbershop harmony from the award winning Altoona Chorus of Sweet Adelines.
At this year's opening event, warm tribute will be given to the late Grace Holderman, one of the Music Picnic Series’ first performers, who brought her vaudeville act to South Hills’ summer stage in 1989. Centenarian, longtime friend, and resident of State College, Grace continued to bring her matchless style of song, dance, and comedy to the stage even as she reached into her early 90s. With full costume, hats, and props, she was joined onstage by her daughter, Vinnie Holderman, and friend, Ray Fortunato.
Grace Holderman passed in 2015 at the age of 102, leaving behind a legacy of community involvement as a Penn State Thespian and tap dance teacher to countless numbers of children in the Centre region. Her friends at South Hills School will present a memorial gift in honor of this outstanding lady at the June 4 summer picnic.
The community is invited to join the casual fun and free concert performances which are provided Sunday evenings June through August at South Hills’ Summer Music Picnic Series, 480 Waupelani Drive in State College. Picnic time: 5pm. Music: 6–7:30pm. Lemonade is still 1₡ a glass, and the snack bar will sell hot dogs and other picnic fare for attendees.
The summer-long series of concerts are sponsored by The Mazza Foundation for Education. They are typically held in the band shell on the school’s front lawn in State College, but events are moved inside the school when it rains. Check out this summer’s entire lineup at www.southhills.edu/music.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.