When I was growing up in Carnegie there were regular concerts at the Library Music Hall in Carnegie. Unfortunately they were attended only by a small, yet committed, group of seniors. On those occasions when I attended concerts of the Pittsburgh Civic Symphony, I was the rare young person in attendance. But things have changed. Recent productions of Broadway plays have drawn SRO crowds to the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, including a lot of young people. As a borough councilman I cannot be more pleased by the transformation. But this transition didn’t happen by accident. Just like in the old days, it took a small, committed group of citizens to make the impossible happen. I admit that when the Chartiers Valley Partnership was formed and declared that it was going to raise $7.5M to renovate the facility, I was numbered among the skeptics. But here we are, 12 years later. Although delayed by the recession, the facility rehab is mostly done. The event calendar for the music hall is full. Our nationally recognized Civil War Veterans Post is fully renovated. And most importantly, we have an attitude— an absolute confidence in the future of this facility as a centerpiece of our community. That confidence is bolstered by the return of Maggie Forbes as executive director of ACFL&MH.
Each year, ACFL&MH hosts a benefit concert: this year on the evening of December 28. Tickets are already selling briskly, and the event will certainly sell out. Benefit events are always an important fundraising tool, but they are also good fun. An after-show party will span all three floors of the building, with various degrees of formality, food, and music. It would be nice to see a group of Carnegie Shul members in attendance. Who doesn’t like to dress up and go to a party? For more information and tickets, call Maggie at 412-276-3456, ext. 13, or call me. Even if you think this performance may not be your “cup of tea”, always remember that the health of our shul is partly dependent on the health of our town. I am looking forward to a group picture of our members during the after party. See you there.