Variety is the spice of life, the saying goes, this year’s Jermyn variety show, titled “Jermyn Melody,” looks to be very spicy.
“The participants are practicing very hard, and they tell us that the show will assuredly even top previous years in its originality and performances,” said JoAnne Wilson, one of the organizers.
Working on the show are the members of five non-profit organizations: the Neighborhood Crime Watch, the Events Committee, the Historical Society, the Lions Club and the Shade Tree Commission.
The curtain will rise on Sunday, May 21, at the Jermyn Community Center, 440 Jefferson Ave. Doors open at 1 p.m.; curtain at 2 p.m.
The Community Bank NA, which has a family branch in Jermyn, has again agreed to be a major sponsor of the show.
“The Jermyn Branch has been a sponsor for the variety show since its inception,” Wilson said. “Throughout the years the employees of the Jermyn Bank have always promoted goodwill and cooperation for the town and its citizens.”
The other major sponsor is Bill’s Body Shop, located on Route 6 in Mayfield. “He is noted for his perfection and top quality in work and color matching,” Wilson said. “He has 20 plus years of experience.”
It was Jermyn Borough Mayor Bruce A. Smallacombe who decided to reactivate the variety show committee.
“It has been four years since we have had a variety show, and the five organizations needed financial assistance,” he said. He contacted the variety show charter members, and they all agreed.
He then approached national recording artist — and Jermyn native — Dani-elle Kleha, about participating in her hometown variety show. She agreed.
Dani-elle and her band will open the show. Kleha has been pursuing a career in Nashville and recently beat out more than three dozen other nominees to be named “Modern Female Country Artist of the Year” at the 2016 Josie Music Awards in Nashville.
“There were so many incredible female artists up for the award, so to hear my name called was a total shock,” Dani-elle said. “To be in music city and to be recognized by industry professionals is truly something that words can’t even explain to me.”
Over the past year, Dani-elle and her band have appeared on the same bill as major country music stars including Luke Byran, Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town. In the past, she has opend for Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean and Thousand Horses.
Another band playing the show is Trespasser, which was assembled by Jermyn resident and local musician Nolan Ayers. He’s the bassist for the Phyllis Hopkins Electric Trio but the band that will play next weekend is composed of fellow former band members that he has played with throughout his 40 years as a part-time musician, including Charlie Barlow, Chris Petronkonis and Cedd Schuler.
“He thought it would be really fun to play again with these friends,” Smallacombe said. Nolan said that the last time he was on stage at the Community Center, he was 9 years old and he was playing drums in Joe Bachak’s Band.
Tickets are $10; $7.50 for students 13 and older, $5 for kids 12 and younger. Tickets maybe obtained at the door or by calling 570-876-3831or 570-876-1477 or visiting the following Jermyn businesses: Avery’s Florist, Debbie’s Flower Boutique, Longworth’s Restaurant, Battenberg’s Furniture or Sterling Pharmacy.
“This town of Jermyn has always been an integral part of my life,” Smallacombe said, “and I thought bringing back the variety show would be getting neighbors together again.”