“GCT Board Member Spotlight” Joyce Elsner, BOARD Member

Joyce Elsner

Board Member, Development Committee Member

My name is Joyce Elsner, a GCT Board Member. My husband, Bert Elsner and I are native of Hanover having been born in Hanover.

I have a B.S. Music Ed. Degree from Gettysburg College. We have three children, all of whom have graduated from Gettysburg College. They all are doing well in their chosen fields, thanks to the Liberal Arts education they received at college.

I was very shy when I was younger and a friend invited me to be on the board of Adams Hanover Counseling Services (now TrueNorth Wellness). I served on the board for 46 years, with several terms as president. This experience made me who I am today.

My husband and I were chair persons for a $750,000 fund raiser to convert a former department store building into a center for autistic children, it was over-subscribed!

I am a trustee emerita of Gettysburg having served terms from 2000 to 2010. While on the College Board, Bert and I started an endowment fund to honor Dr. Parker B. Wagwild (“Wags”) the founder of the Gettysburg College Choir and founder of the music department at Gettysburg College. Dr. Wagwild is lovingly called “Wags” by all his choir members. He was a second father to all of them. Funds from the $500,000 endowment provide money for the college choir to travel to domestic and international concerts.

I was part of “Duo Times Two”, a piano quartet comprised of four classically trained pianists playing eight hand music in harmony. They performed locally – Mechanicsburg, Gettysburg, Hanover – and south to Hilton Head, SC. One of the highlights of their concert career was to have played the introductory music for composer Marvin Hamlisch for his appearance in Hanover on March 24, 2001. Over the eight years of the group we raised over $250,000 for many charities.

I’ve also been on the church council of St. Matthew Lutheran Church here in Hanover. I’ve occasionally played piano-organ & organ duets with Mr. Scott Fredericks, director of music there. Scott is loved by all his choir members – children, youth, adult choir.

Following my Gettysburg College trusteeship, Ed Riggs, current president of Gettysburg Community Theatre asked me to consider going on his board. He was persistent and I finally agreed to serve. It proved to be one of the best decisions of my life. The cast members, executive staff and fellow board members are wonderful! I had taken my grandson, Ben, to see two shows at GCT. As a consequence, Ben decided to play the donkey in “Shrek”. He thoroughly enjoyed this taste of theatre.

Chad-Alan Carr is a gem and quite an asset to our organization. The quality of the shows performed and varied selections have been a hit, Chad is loved by all.

My husband and family are all so special to me. I am grateful for the life I have in Hanover.


“Board Member Spotlight” is a monthly special feature in honor of the 10th season of Gettysburg Community Theatre. Learn more about GCT at www.gettysburgcommunitytheatre.com Photo Credit: Leer Photography

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