Alumni Spotlight – Kevin Gorman

By Meet CVSM

When did you attend CVSM and who were your teachers?

My first class at CVSM was Musikgarten with Susan Whitelock when I about was 4.  Afterward, my parents enrolled me in piano lessons with Bob Parini. Marie Hershey and Brian Helman then became my teachers.

Where do you currently live and what do you do?

I’m back in Franklin County teaching at CVSM and Dickinson College. I’ve undertaken a recording project of the complete piano sonatas of William Bland (a former CVSM instructor) which has one CD out so far on Bridge Records. I am also the church musician at St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Shippensburg.

Do you still participate in music activities?

That’s literally my life!

What is your best/favorite memory of your time at CVSM?

In my senior year of high school, Brian (Helman( prepared me for my college auditions, which required over an hour of solo repertoire, memorized, and playing to the best of my abilities. That level of preparation eventually became the norm in my undergrad and graduate work but was not at all the norm when I was a teenager. It was an intense time for me, the first time music and piano really became the main focus of my life, and I was beyond fortunate to have Brian as a teacher during that time.

What are three words to describe CVSM?

Musical, creative, and fun!

What was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

My first job was washing dishes at the Cracker Barrel on Wayne Avenue. I think I lasted 2 weeks.

If you could instantly have any talent, what would it be?

To be able to sing, then I wouldn’t have to play the piano! 😉

What is one thing you can’t live without?

Worcestershire sauce

In what places have you lived?

Born in Chambersburg, PA, moved to Potsdam, N.Y. for undergrad, then to Montreal, QC.

What is your favorite quote?

“Life is a gift”

Donor Spotlight – Gene & Sally Herritt

By Meet CVSM

Gene is originally from the Williamsport, PA, area with a BS in Education from Clarion and an MEd in Reading from Shippensburg. Sally was born and raised in Chambersburg, then moved to Shippensburg when they got married. They have a daughter, Andi, and a grandson, Lyric. Sally retired as Executive Director of Chambersburg Community Theatre (CCT) after 25 years but continues to volunteer & perform with the group.

Sally is a singer, having studied voice with Peg Weeks as a teenager, and with Marjorie Hirsch at Juniata College. She continues to perform in her church choir and, when available, with the Mercersburg Area Community Chorus, as well as being an independent performer.

Sally knew Meagan Boozer from Chambersburg Community Theatre prior to the opening of CVSM, so she has known about the school from the beginning. Gene was first introduced to CVSM when someone mentioned they were looking for a board member and knew that he had experience with serving on non-profit boards.  Watching students perform and grow as a result of their experience with CVSM made him feel as if a non-talented person like him can still contribute to the arts.

Three words to describe CVSM: Gene—Talent, Growth, Opportunity; Sally—Excellence, Creativity, Passion

CVSM exists to provide people of all ages the opportunity to explore and grow their talent and interests in the arts. This is an economical alternative for the students and a chance for qualified teachers to reach more students through the school’s promotions of their offerings.

CVSM competes with local schools and private tutors, but no one else in the area is doing everything that CVSM does. The organized efforts of the CVSM staff allow for tutors to teach under the CVSM roof and reach a wider audience for their own talents as educators.

Gene and Sally consider CVSM a worthwhile local charity because of the opportunities the school provides local residents who wish to take advantage of them. It has brought over the years a high degree of talent both to and from our community. It helps to showcase the quality of talent and people that are here in South Central Pennsylvania and inspires them to continue offering financial support where they can. Having a background in the performing arts (dance, drama, music), Sally feels it is so important to support organizations that promote a love of the arts. Everyone enjoys music even if they don’t sing or play an instrument. Life without music would be a very dull existence.

Gene has bored his family and friends since his college days with stories of when he spent two summers hitchhiking around the country. That gave him a chance to see a lot of the country and experience the people from the areas he visited. Traveling in other parts of the world with Sally when she was on concert tours gave him additional travel experiences.

All of us fortunate enough to live in this area experience good people and good opportunities. CVSM is one of many and they are pleased to be a part of the community and to participate in its growth and its cultural development.

Student Spotlight – Carolyn Kent

By Meet CVSM

For how long have you attended CVSM and which teachers have you studied with?

I have studied for about 4 years with Brian Helman and Kevin Gorman.  However, I have also eavesdropped during my children’s lessons for many years, on Richard Overcash, Valerie. Merriman, Geoff Weeks, and Deb Stotelmyer!

Where do you attend school and what grade are you in? 

I am not in school at the moment, but I have taken music classes recently at Gettysburg College and Messiah University.

What are your favorite music activities?

I love to sit at the piano and play for myself in the evenings, but also enjoy concerts and listening to music. 

What is your best/favorite memory of your time at CVSM? 

Playing with Brian Helman in the recital hall downstairs

What do you do for fun? I love to read to my grandchildren and watch them figure things out!

If you could instantly have any talent, what would it be? To play any piano piece on sight!

What is your favorite memory? 

As a young child, my mom worked evenings and my dad worked during the day.  After my sister and I went to bed at night, my dad would stand in the doorway of our bedroom, silhouetted against the hall light behind him, and talk to us about the music he played on the record player: Scheherazade, Pictures at an Exhibition, the Grand Canyon Suite, La Mer, the 1812 Overture, the Firebird Suite, and Swan Lake. 

In what places have you lived?

I grew up in New Jersey but moved to Mercersburg after finishing my pediatric residency.  Now I live in Greencastle.

Where is the best place you have traveled to and why? 

I hiked part of the Annapurna circuit in Nepal several years ago with the Sierra Club and it was so beautiful there are no words to describe it.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Toenails!  I still bite my fingernails but haven’t been able to reach my toes since I turned 36 years old.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

You can’t beat the Falafel Shack.  But I like Sheetz and McDonald’s too!

CVSM Thanksgiving

By Meet CVSM

The staff of CVSM are so thankful for all of our instructors, families and community!! We love hearing the beautiful music created by our students. We decided to share some Thanksgiving memories and recipes with all of you.


Pumpkin Dip – shared by CVSM Co-Founder Paula Hepfer

Stuffing – shared by CVSM Bookkeeper Sharon Eshleman

Baked Corn – shared by CVSM Store Manager Sheryl Gudgeon

Creamed Mushrooms – shared by CVSM Marketing & Communications Steph Allee

Squash Casserole – shared by CVSM Program Manager Heather Kline

Buttermilk Pecan Pie – shared by CVSM Marketing & Communications Steph Allee

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake – shared by CVSM Executive Director Heather McEndree


“2008: My grandfather was in the final days of his life, at a personal care home.  He was hospitalized on my birthday, which is always very near Thanksgiving.  He was released from the hospital and put on hospice at the home.  On Thanksgiving Day, I went to visit him.  He wasn’t really talking any more by that day.  I chattered on for a little while, letting him know that it was Thanksgiving Day and I was so thankful for having him in my life. He passed away the next day.  I’m so glad that I got to tell him that.” ~Valerie Merriman, CVSM Registrar

“I grew up with a large extended family. Each Thanksgiving, we would descend on my Aunt Patricia’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone brought a dish to share, either appetizer, dinner, or dessert. My Aunt & Uncle made a HUGE turkey to feed the ravenous clan. I remember the warmth, the sounds, the people, the energy, and feeling so absolutely stuffed by the end of the evening that I felt I would not need to eat for another month – at least until it was time for Christmas dinner, LOL!” ~Heather McEndree, CVSM Executive Director

“The year I found out I was pregnant I kept it a secret until we had our Thanksgiving meal. I knew I wanted to share it during our annual “What I’m thankful for” go around the table. My brother had been (what I like to call) lovingly harassing me about having kids, and I kept telling him I might never have kids just to annoy him. So, as we went around the table on Thanksgiving I ended up being right after my brother and just happened to be the last one to go. He said his thought and then made a joke about how no one could top him. Honestly, I don’t even remember what he said. I followed and said I was “thankful for my unborn baby.” I wish I could share the look on his face, because his eyes got huge in disbelief and excitement at the same time. He shouted, “Are you for real?” He couldn’t believe it and kept asking me over and over if it was for real. He was so excited when he realized I was telling the truth. Ever since then we have joked about the year that I topped my brother and practically knocked him off his chair.” ~Heather Kline, CVSM Program Manager

Faculty Spotlight – Jane Peatling, cellist

By Meet CVSM

Meet Jane

Jane performing with Marlin at Chefs Walk

Jane Peatling is a cellist and has been an instructor with CVSM since it was founded in 1990. She took a break from teaching in the 2000’s and has now been back teaching for 5 years. What she likes most about teaching at CVSM is being part of a vibrant musical community. She was originally drawn to teaching at CVSM for the energy of a new venture and the ease of the administrative side of arranging lessons.

Jane would use these three words to describe CVSM: Vibrant, Musical, and Community.

She enjoys listening to any music performed Read More

Meet the Nolls

By Meet CVSM

Jeff Noll, CVSM Instructor and Parent

L-R: Joshua, Jordan, Caleb, Careth, Jeff

CVSM has been my musical family for going on 27 years.  I continue to teach piano, CVSM Children’s Choir (formerly Cumberbunds), and Voice Camp.  It has been a pleasure to work with such gifted colleagues and to share the wonderful gift of music with hundreds of children over the years.  I feel like CVSM has offered me a place to not just teach music, but see students grow in discipline, character and love for what is beautiful.  To me, CVSM is about investing in the whole person.  I have been there long enough now to say that I have Read More