Scott’s Thoughts

Scott Drackley here, the Founder and Artistic Director of Penn Square Music Festival. I’d like to introduce you to an exciting new way to learn more about your favorite arts organization, Penn Square Music Festival and Conservatory: my new blog called Scott’s Thoughts! This blog will include some unique and interesting perspectives. Come join us!

A little about me: I love singing and I love singers. That’s obvious because I married one. I signed on to be my wife Phyllis’ accompanist in college and I’ve been doing it ever since. We had two sons, both singers. Both tenors. While both continue to sing their hearts out, my younger son, Peter decided to pursue it as a career. This opened my eyes as to what challenges and opportunities singers have in the 21st century.

Opera is thriving in the 21 st century. We have a huge array of a wonderful tradition from the past and also some incredibly exciting operas that are being written and premiered as we speak. Plus, as a retired music educator, I love to introduce audiences to genres of vocal music of which they might not have heard.

Scott’s Thoughts will bring you some interesting insights into the Penn Square Music Festival and Consercvatory. How we function, the state of the arts regionally, nationally and globally, and how do we choose what we perform and who performs with us.

I will introduce you to singers, board members, conservatory teachers, volunteers and people who do that absolutely essential “behind the scenes” work. And by the way, if you are interested in helping out in ANY way, we’d love to have you in the PSMF family!

Share this blog with people you know who like to hear about arts organizations and how they

actually function, Check out our newly designed website. It’s a beauty!! Watch our recent Harmonize Lancaster concerts with the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. And keep an eye out for some exciting upcoming events!

Even in this virtual time, I am very optimistic of our future. But I can’t give it all way in the first blog post…

Stay safe and healthy.



Already a tourist magnet with much to offer, Lancaster is the perfect place for Penn Square Music Festival. The Lancaster Newspaper states: “Consistent annual visitation (is) hovering between 8 million and 10 million people. (That’s a staggering number when you consider that the county’s current total resident population is a mere 5 percent of the estimated annual visitation. That means there are 20 visitors for each resident.)”

The city’s downtown has been revitalized, the visual arts are thriving, theater is alive and well; and with the construction of Clipper Stadium, a new group of people began to visit Lancaster, proving the “if you build it, they will come” theory. There is already an audience base, people who value and support the arts.

A professional summer opera/musical theatre festival fills a need that has not been met in this region. The other closest summer opera festivals are Wolf Trap, in Vienna, Virginia, and the Glimmerglass Music Festival in Cooperstown New York. (by the way — both are also good examples of the “if you build it…” theory: Wolf Trap is built on former farmland outside of Washington, D.C. and Glimmerglass in the open spaces of upstate New York) Both are major players in the training and showcasing of young artists, both draw consistently large opera audiences from distant places and both are more than 100 miles from Lancaster.

Cooperstown, NY, with a population of 1,800 people, is the home of The Glimmerglass Festival. From an article entitled Art is Essential, Not Extra by altranet.org, General Director Francesca Zambello is quoted: “The Glimmerglass Festival’s $8 million budget plants a $21 million footprint in the region. The Festival has a vital economic and social impact on the region, with 36,000 tickets sold annually to visitors from throughout the United States and 11 foreign countries.”

Opera and musical theatre enthusiasts from Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C. and beyond would easily consider a short vacation in Lancaster anchored to the Festival.