By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer


The hills could be alive, as early as 2014, with the sound of music.

Anthony Albench, a member of the board of directors for St. Anthony in the Hills in Toughkenamon, informed an audience of 50 township residents at the New Garden Township board of supervisors meeting on Jan. 27 that the facility may introduce a concert series at the facility beginning in 2014, and fully incorporate the concert series in 2015. 

In his presentation, Albench said that the parish has recently been approached by concert promoter Bob Koch from Live Nation, with the idea of producing four to 10 concerts a year at the pavilion theater at St. Anthony in the Hills, featuring adult contemporary recording artists. Koch has been a tour business manager for U2, and has promoted several concerts at Longwood Gardens.  

Albench said that St. Anthony's is considering the concert series as a method of  generating a continuing revenue stream for the parish, and that although a formal plan has not yet been developed, the concert series would provide New Garden Township with a “cultural and entertainment opportunity.” 

“We want to partner with the board, with the residents of the township, and think it would be a cultural and entertainment opportunity, a chance to better utilize our facility, and a way to keep St. Anthony in the Hills vibrant and dedicated to our original cause to use open space over a long period of time,” Albench said. “The reality is that we are all neighbors and we need to be mindful of that.”

Albench said that he has already met with residents of the Somerset Lake and Harrogate communities, as well as with New Garden Township Police Chief Gerald Simpson, to discuss the logistics of establishing a concert series and, in particular, the best way to address noise levels, traffic management in the Route 41-Route 7 interchange, and parking. 

Albench estimated that the concerts would draw audiences of 1,500 to 2,000 people per show, and that each performance would draw between 600 to 800 vehicles. The concerts, Albench said, would begin at 8 p.m. and end between 10 and 10:30 p.m.

As St. Anthony in the Hills continues to develop plans for the concert series, the board requested that township solicitor Vincent Pompo review all township ordinances related to performances of this kind in the township.  

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@chestercounty.com.