Brandywine Minstrels

Harlowe Wagaman, 10, performs a dance routine in  "Home For The Holidays," a fundraising video made by former members of the defunct Brandywine Minstrels. The combo, from left, is Steve Schwoyer, Michael Wagaman and Jonathan Quier.

The spirit of the Brandywine Minstrels is being revived in a Christmas special aimed at raising money for needy families in the Kutztown area.

The minstrels, who performed annually at Brandywine Heights High School for more than 35 years, disbanded after the 2015 performance.

During its tenure, the troupe of Topton-area residents performing minstrel shows raised more than $500,000 for organizations in the school district.

Given the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on area families, some former minstrels put together “Home For The Holidays,” a 45-minute entertainment video linked to a fundraiser.

Michael Wagaman, a former minstrel who’s president of the Brandywine Heights School Board, said the goal is to raise $3,200 to make Christmas brighter for 25 families.

Wagaman was joined by Steve Schwoyer, former director of Brandywine Minstrel shows, and former minstrels Michael Grossman, Jonathan Quier and Toby Bower in organizing the project.

The video opens with Santa reading a version of “The Night Before Christmas,” adapted for life amid the COVID-19 crisis. Wagaman and Quier, accompanied by Schwoyer, perform old standards like “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland.”

The video premiered recently on Service Electric’s Channel 84. It can be accessed on the Friends of Brandywine Facebook page. Donations can be made on Facebook or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 127, Topton PA. 19562.

comments powered by Disqus