People’s Choice Festival Music Lineup | Centre County Gazette
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People’s Choice Festival Music Lineup | Centre County Gazette

While People’s Choice Festival is known for its art booths, it also hosts a variety of musical performances from Thursday to Sunday.

Head to the South Stage to enjoy the entertainment at this year’s People’s Choice.

The first day of the festival, Thursday, July 11, will feature six different performances:

Group Therapy – 10:30 AM

Group Therapy, originally formed by Jon Bojan, Maggie Davis, Jim Herbert and Joe Pelick, has gained a reputation in Centre County over the past three years for its diverse musical style, which includes Americana, bluegrass, contemporary country pop and folk rock. The band gained recognition after winning first place on Happy Valley’s Got Talent Show in 2016. The band has recently played several local festivals, including the Lemont Strawberry Festival and the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

Group Therapy currently consists of Eva George on keyboard, rhythm guitar, percussion, and vocals; Jim Herbert on rhythm guitar and vocals; Joe Pelick on drums; and Charlie Rury on fiddle, banjo, ukulele, and vocals.

Stars in Sapphire – South

Stars in Sapphire is a pop/rock band from central Pennsylvania. The band consists of four former Penn State music students, with Bernadette Bratina as lead vocalist. The band made a splash after performing at THON 2024, playing songs by Stevie Nicks, Dua Lipa, ABBA, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and more.

In March of this year, Stars in Sapphire released the single “Illuminate,” which is available on Spotify.

Western Range — 1:30 PM

If you like a Southern sound in your music, this band, which “performs authentic, rousing Texas Swing, Honky Tonk and Vintage Rock,” according to its website, is a must-see. Western Range features Susan Chiovarou on vocals and rhythm guitar, Mac Himes on lead guitar, Kyle Haust on drums and Phil Burlingame on bass.

The band made a name for itself performing throughout central Pennsylvania at taverns, pubs, music festivals and events. Western Range specializes in “harmonic vocals, tap-along rhythms and guitar solos,” according to its website. The band has performed songs by Loretta Lynn, June Carter, Buck Owens, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and others.

Dance Loft – 3:00 PM

Dance Loft is an Altoona-based elite dance program that offers classes in a variety of dance styles for kids ages 2 to 18. It is owned by Mackenzie Counterman, who founded the company at age 22 in 2019. Dance Loft students have performed at the Bryce Jordan Center, Petersen Events Center, Saint Francis University, Altoona Curve and more. They will continue their streak of performances at the People’s Choice Festival.

Code Blue – 16:30

Code Blue debuted in the 1990s performing a series of blues and soul covers and original songs. The band consists of Terri Parker on vocals, Chris Younken on guitar, Harry Werner on bass, Jerry Zolten on guitar, and John Raiser on drums.

Code Blue toured regionally, performing with artists such as Otis Clay and Billy Price in Pittsburgh, Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band in Lancaster, and Al Green in Philadelphia.

U245 “A Tribute to U2” — 6:30 PM

Fans of the rock band U2 can’t miss U245’s tribute to the original band. The Pittsburgh-based band likes to put on shows that “focus on the songs, tones, and sounds that make U2’s music so enduring,” according to its website.

The second day of the festival, on Friday 12th July, will feature another impressive line-up of six acts, including:

State College Rock Camp – 10:30 AM

State College Rock Camp is a summer program for local music students who want to learn music composition, arranging, improvisation and group performance. It began in 2010 and has since grown to include songwriting, studio recording and production elements, as well as public concert performances. One of those performances will be at this year’s People’s Choice Festival.

Jeff Gibble, Zeb Crews and Zach Humphreys – South

Jeff Gibble is an electric and acoustic guitarist playing progressive rock and jazz fusion, according to his website. The trio has played shows in Centre County and throughout central Pennsylvania.

JR Mangan Band featuring Veronica — 1:30 PM

JR Mangan has been a part of the Centre County music scene since 1984, performing at many different events and festivals over the years. Mangan and Veronica Auger have joined forces with band members Mark Toce on guitar, Jason Ebersole on bass and vocals, and John Lynch on drums and vocals. They perform a range of classic rock songs.

Country Make Mine Band – 3:00 PM

Five artists from central Pennsylvania make up The Make Mine Country Band, known for their country sound, upbeat rock and roll hits, bluegrass songs, and classic blues, heavy metal, and punk songs. The band consists of Jim Wilson on pedal steel guitar and vocals, Shelby Nestler on rhythm guitar and vocals, Jody Shover on drums, Pat Aumiller on lead guitar and vocals, and Curt Nealman on bass guitar and vocals.

The Make Mine Country Band has performed not only in Pennsylvania, but also on Broadway in Nashville, West Virginia and elsewhere.

Dixieland Deacons — 4:30 PM

The Deacons of Dixieland is a seven-piece jazz band from central Pennsylvania. The band plays traditional Dixieland music, as well as blues, waltzes, polkas, and country western songs. The band has been performing in central Pennsylvania since 1988.

Joe Bonson and Coffee Run “A Tribute to George Jones” — 6:30 PM

Joe Bonson and Coffee Run “keep the country and gospel tradition alive in Pennsylvania,” according to their website. Bonson has been singing country music his entire life, but the band has been performing together for more than 20 years.

The band consists of drums, bass, acoustic, lead, steel, fiddle and vocals. The band has an album titled “Love Train” which contains a number of unique songs inspired by country and gospel.

The third day of the festival, Saturday, July 13, will feature six more performances, one of which viewers may recognize from the television show “The Voice.”

Free range – 10:30 a.m.

The central Pennsylvania cover band plays a range of classic songs, including everything from Janis Joplin to Nora Jones, U2 and Post Malone, according to its website. The band consists of Doug Arnold, Steve McDonald, Janet Mylin and Tom Vella, who play two guitars, drums and vocals. “We love playing great songs,” the band notes on its website.

Caryn Dixon – South

Caryn Dixon is an American country artist who splits her time between central Pennsylvania and Nashville. She has written for the American Idol competitions and her songs have been featured in both television shows and films. She recently released her single “Here I Am,” which is available to stream on all streaming platforms ahead of the festival.

Rock concert — 1:30 p.m.

Don’t go to this event expecting classical, blues, or country. As the name suggests, this band puts on a rock show filled with fan favorites. The band has performed in Centre County and beyond. The band’s Facebook page says the idea for the band came about in 2020.

Chiz Rider – 15:00

Chiz Rider is a ministry band whose purpose is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through music. “We never approach any concert with our own agenda, but with an open heart to serve God first and the congregation we are playing to second,” according to their website.

Jimmy Mowery (seen on “The Voice”) — 4:30 p.m.

Jimmy Mowery is a self-taught guitarist from Altoona. Mowery competed in the music competition series “The Voice” in 2019, where he finished in the top 24 and collaborated with Adam Levine and John Legend during the show. He currently lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with his wife Heather, and performs about 200 shows a year, one of which will be at the People’s Choice Festival.

Radio Petty and the hits “Tribute to Tom Petty” — 6:30 p.m.

Tom Petty fans will be able to enjoy this tribute from Pittsburgh-based band Radio Petty and the Chart Toppers — also known as Petty 45. The band “focuses on the songs, tones and sounds that make Tom Petty’s music so enduring,” according to its website.

The final day of the festival will feature three performances and a worship service. On Sunday, July 14, the Centre Hall Council of Churches will hold a worship service followed by three different bands.

Kick Footlights – South

Kick the Footlights features Larry Boggess and Steve Hinckley playing classic country music from the 1950s to the 1980s. The duo is known for covering songs by music legends such as Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Willy Nelson, Loretta Lynn and many others.

Coal Aly Band — 1:30 PM

The cover band hails from State College and consists of three vocalists and a five-piece horn section. While the band covers a wide range of music, including Motown, funk, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll, from the 1960s to present, the band’s website lists songs by Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, ABBA, and Amy Winehouse as some of the top hits they enjoy performing.

Joy Marie and the Gill Street Band – 8:00 PM 15:00

This central Pennsylvania band is a nine-piece classic funk, soul, and R&B outfit that has performed at Pine Grove Hall, Elk Creek Café, First Friday, and more. End the festival with the sounds of Joy Marie and the Gill Street Band.