Kittanning's Only Annual Film Festival


Each year St. John's Lutheran Church provides a free evening of silent films with live musical accompaniment and refreshments.

218 N. Jefferson St., Kittanning, PA 16201

(724) - 548 - 2051

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Musical Highlights from our 2012 Show

Please click on the link below to view our video on Youtube:

Our orchestra was made possible with a grant from The Armstrong County Community Foundation.

This screening was made possible through the generosity of David Shepard, Flicker Alley LLC, the work of Lobster Films and the Danish Filmmuseum.

Photos by Emily Boarts
Sound engineering and recording by Zach Morgan

Thanks and see you soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thank you to all who assisted St. John's

Our thanks to all the folks at St. John's Lutheran who made this year's Silent Movie Night a great success.

I hope that no one person will be overlooked, but at the risk of failing to thank someone, I'd like to name all those who helped make the program thrive.  In no particular order:

Pastor Carl Johnson, who has been an unfailing supporter and guide for the program since its inception, and who leads St. John's congregation so ably.

Rebecca Veith who kindly turns the organ over to Eric for rehearsals and an evening's performance, as well as allowing the orchestra to invade her choir loft!

St. John's Church Secretary Tricia Howard who produced our programs and offered logistical support.

Church Sexton Carl Shumaker who ensures that St. John's is always ship-shape and Bristol fashion for guests and members alike.

The St. John's Sr. & Jr. Bell Choirs, and Dan Minnich for the use of their rehearsal space and music stands.

The Armstrong County Community Foundation who funded our orchestra for the evening, our thanks to all of their staff, volunteers, and donors who support the arts in our community; but most especially, a thank you to Mindy Knappenberger who helped with the grant application and writing process.

Val Wilson, and the Music Department of West Shamokin Highschool for providing us with music stand lights and electrical supplies for the orchestra.

Jeff Boarts, who handles all of the business affairs of the program, runs our projector, and takes care of all the big and little details, organization, and clean up.  Jeff has made the program a possibility since it began as a post-movie chat in the fall of 2006.

Paul's Auto Parts of Kittanning who helped fund the film licensing costs of our films and provided other financial support for the program.

The rest of the Boart's family, especially Carol and Helen who assisted in many ways, especially with planning, cleaning up, and supporting Jeff.

Emily Boarts for her fine photography and promotional work.

Adam Morgan who assisted Emily and provided additional help with the performance.

Zach Morgan who recorded the musical portion of the performance.

Stephen Lipnichan who so professionally and cheerfully conducted our orchestra.

Eric Cook who prepared and arranged our music and played the organ for the short films.

The players of the Kittanning Ivy Leaf Orchestra:

Flute Rebecca Cook
Clarinet I Sam Schreiber
Clarinet II Megan Maggiore
Bassoon Mary Gibbons
Cornet Lawrence Conway
Trombone Dennis F. Cramer
Violin I Carrie Semanco
Violin II Christie Kecskemethy
Viola Stephanie Marhag
Cello Elizabeth Cramer
Bass Roger Whisler
Piano Eric Cook
Percussion Rob Reams

Rex Rutkoski of the Trib Media Group and the Valley News Dispatch who provided a magnificent article and visual spread in the Trib weekend arts and entertainment section.  This is the second year in a row that Rex has written a great article and helped to draw a good crowd to our event.

David Lindemann, who helped usher and host the event.

Gene Hughes who narrated A Voyage to the Moon.

Keith Livengood who assisted with the PA system and operated the camera that allows the monitor at the organ to keep focused on the films during the organ accompaniment.

Julie Smith and the members of the Youth groups of St. John's who helped Usher, make and serve our popcorn, and handed out the bottled water:

Frances Kirby, Allison Hall, Robert Gamble, Ian Crytzer, Ryan Crytzer, Matthew Bowser, Andrew Bowser, and Derek Kirby.

David Shepard, who has provided unfailing aid and support for our programs since we planned the first movie night in the fall of 2006.  Mr. Shepard is a film preservationist, producer, and promoter of silent film.  Formerly an employee and now the head of Film Preservation Associates, he continues to work with his own and other companies, as well as public and private collections, to help preserve, restore,and produce modern editions of these classic films.   Among those firms are Lobster Films and Flicker Alley, LLC they were the source for two of this evening’s selections: A Trip to the Moon and A Modern Musketeer.  

Also our thanks to the Danish Filmmuseum for their support and the permission to screen A Modern Musketeer.

Out thanks is also due to the fine people of Kino International, and Tim Lanza, who have allowed us to license and show the film One Week.

We are also thankful for the support of the University of Pittsburgh Theodore M. Finney Music Library Staff, especially Dr. James Cassaro, and Dr. Carlos E. Pena who provided hours of support and information during score preparation.  They oversee the Nek Mirskey collection of silent film, salon, and dance music, the collection served as the source for approximately half of the music used during the orchestral score for A Modern Musketeer.  

We are very grateful for Dennis Cramer of East Franklin, and former Band director at Ford City Highschool, who coordinated the musicians for this evening’s orchestral performance.  

Also thanks to Rodney Sauer of the Mont Alto Orchestra, one of the leading ensembles in silent film accompaniment, who graciously shared his ideas about scoring A Modern Musketeer; the DVD version of this film features his ensemble's superb work.  

Dr. Kenneth Sarch of Mansfield University shared his approaching to writing film scores for silent comedy with Eric.  

Additional thanks to Jack Theaston, Andrew Greene, Ben Model, and Robert Israel all of whom shared some thoughts on silent film scoring with Eric via; their advice was invaluable.  

And our sincere thanks to Gladys Bertha Schulze Crees and Carol Palmer, daughter and granddaughter of Walter Schulze, who shared original period music and biographical information about their father and grandfather, and made the creation of our musical score possible.

But finally, and most of all...

Many, many thanks to all of the community members and guests from afar who attended our performance and made it all worthwhile.  It was great to host you and I hope we will see you again!

Watch for updates about the planning for our 2013 program, as well as new posts about silent film preservation, history and presentations; as well as information on Kittanning history, and St. John's along the way...

See you next year!

Thank you to the Armstrong County Community Foundation

This year's silent film success was due in large part to the Armstrong County Community Foundation (ACCF).

The ACCF has been serving the citizens of the county by linking charitable donations to worthy causes.

We were very blessed to be the recipient of an art grant that paid for the majority of the musicians in our silent film orchestra.

We would like to thank Jeff Boarts, Mindy Knappenberger, and the Church Council of St. John's Lutheran, and the board and staff at the ACCF, for writing, processing and assisting in the grant application and in the awarding of the grant.

But above all we would like to thank all of the generous donors of the ACCF that made such a wonderful evening possible.

Armstrong County Community Foundation

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A big thank you to Rex Rutkoski

There a large number of thank you's to go around, but a very special thank you to the Trib reporter Rex Rutkoski.

Rex spent many days asking thoughtful questions and crafting an outstanding article about our program of silent film and took the time to interview several of the people who make this evening possible.

His wonderful entertainment section article was superb and had amazing visuals especially in the print edition.  This article and it's excellent placement was a huge help in drawing such a diverse and apperciative audience.  If you've not seen the article or photo's please visit the link below.

And thanks again Rex!

Trib Article about St. John's Silent Movie Night 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 A Great Success!

It is hard to believe that our Night of Silent Stars has ended for another year.  It was a fantastic success, we had 220 people in attendance, as you might imagine the list of thank you's is long.  At the risk of omitting anyone, I will create a proper list of thank you's that will appear shortly.

Already, things are being considered for next year.

If you were in attendance and have any suggestions on how to improve our program we'd love to hear from you.

But mostly, we just wish to say thank you to all for their marvelous support!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Live Orchestra!

Please join us for a FREE evening of...




                                     and ROMANCE!

St. John's Lutheran Church
218 N. Jefferson St.
Kittanning, PA

A Modern Musketeer

Two Short films proceed our feature:
A Voyage to the Moon, and One Week

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
FREE popcorn and bottled water available


Under the Direction of Stephen J. Lipnichan

The One, the Only!
Kittanning Ivy Leaf Orchestra

Orchestral score compiled and arranged by Eric W. Cook

Hear them as they play 
Dance Music, 
Salon Music
and original 
Dramatic Works for the Photo-Play

Orchestra Made possible by a Community Arts Grant from
The Armstrong County Community Foundation

Our film presentation is made possible through the generosity of
David Shepard and Flicker Alley

The Kittanning Ivy Leaf Orchestra

Rebecca Cook
Clarinet I
Sam Schreiber
Clarinet II Megan Maggiore
Mary Gibbons
Lawrence Conway
Dennis F. Cramer
Violin I
Carrie Semanco
Violin II
Christie Kecskemethy
Stephanie Marhag
Elizabeth Cramer
Roger Whisler
Eric Cook
Rob Reams
Stephen Lipnichan