Rocking the Keystone: The Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame’s Ode to Local Talent

3 mins read

The Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame (CPMHOF) stands as a beacon of recognition and support for the vibrant music scene in Central Pennsylvania. Founded in 2019 by Brandon Valentine, the CPMHOF has quickly established itself as a pivotal institution within the local music community, dedicated to celebrating and nurturing the rich musical heritage of the area.

At its core, the CPMHOF is committed to recognizing, supporting, and growing the local music scene. This commitment extends to musicians, venues, fans, teachers, instrument shops, booking agents, recording studios, sound techs, DJs, photographers, journalists/bloggers, community volunteers, businesses, corporate leaders, and anyone else who supports local music. The organization’s inclusive approach underscores its belief in the power of music to unite and inspire communities.

Since its inception, the CPMHOF has made significant strides in highlighting the contributions of Central Pennsylvania’s musicians. The organization’s annual awards ceremony, often referred to as the “local Grammys,” showcases the best talent of the year and inducts new members into the Hall of Fame. Notable inductees include Poison, Halestorm, Live, and Breaking Benjamin who have each expressed their gratitude for the recognition. This event not only celebrates the achievements of artists but also serves as a gathering point for the local music community, thus fostering connections and collaborations.

In an exclusive interview with Rock Documented, Brandon Valentine shared his vision for the CPMHOF, stating,

“Our goal is to not only honor the legacy of Central Pennsylvania’s musicians but also to create a supportive network that propels our music scene forward. We want to be a catalyst for new talent and provide a platform where music can thrive in all its forms.”

This sentiment reflects the organization’s dedication to both honoring the past and nurturing the future of music in the region.

The CPMHOF is set to host its 5th Annual Central Pennsylvania Music Awards (CPMAs) & Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on March 28, 2024. This prestigious event is a red-carpet affair that celebrates the best musical talents of 2023 and inducts new members into the Hall of Fame. The 2024 class of inductees includes notable names such as Fuel, Hybrid Ice, Blitz Dynette, Vince DiCola, and Fred Waring. Additionally, the legendary Al Shade will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his enduring contributions to music. The ceremony will take place at the historic Hershey Theatre in Hershey, PA, at 7:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased here.

Reflecting on the upcoming event, Valentine remarked,

“Each year, the CPMAs bring together the finest in our music community to celebrate their hard work and achievements. It’s a night of recognition, but also a testament to the collaborative spirit that makes our music scene so special.”

Beyond awards and recognition, the CPMHOF is deeply invested in the educational aspect of music. Through complementary music camps, scholarships, and recognition of the area’s finest youth artists and music educators, the organization strives to nurture the next generation of musicians. This focus on education is a testament to the CPMHOF’s commitment to ensuring the longevity and vibrancy of Central Pennsylvania’s music scene.

Valentine elaborated on the organization’s educational initiatives,

“What began with one outdoor kids music camp has spawned into something bigger. Our non-profit now has an annual Youth Music Showcase—where we shine a spotlight on Central PA’s most talented up-and-coming artists. We have formed a Central Pennsylvania Youth All-Star Band to create additional experiences and opportunities, and we acknowledge a top-tier music educator with our ‘Educator of Note’ award annually.”

The impact of the CPMHOF extends beyond the musicians it honors. By increasing awareness of the Central Pennsylvania music scene through social media content, podcasts, bookings, and promotions, the organization plays a crucial role in enriching the cultural fabric of the region. Its efforts not only spotlight the area’s musical talent but also contribute to the economic vitality of the local music industry.

Looking ahead, Valentine shared exciting future plans for the CPMHOF,

“This month, a physical location for the CPMHOF will open in Hershey, PA. Visitors can walk through rooms of autographed memorabilia from the likes of Taylor Swift, Bret Michaels, LIVE, Fuel, The Badlees, Breaking Benjamin, and much more! Beyond that, we look to form a unique music festival that will bring artists and fans together in a way our area has never experienced.”

The Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame is more than just an organization; it is a community of passionate individuals dedicated to celebrating and nurturing the musical talent of Central Pennsylvania. Through its awards, educational initiatives, and community engagement, the CPMHOF is making a lasting impact on the region’s music scene.

T. Cody Strubel is the founder of Rock Documented, a platform he established in September 2015. As the Lead Photographer, Writer, and Editor, Cody has been instrumental in shaping the site's content and visual aesthetic. His exceptional work in music photography was recognized by the Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame, where he was voted "Best Photography" at their inaugural event. Cody's equipment of choice includes two Nikon D850s, a Nikon 22-70mm 2.8 VR, a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 VR, and a Black Rapid Shoulder Strap. His passion for music and photography, combined with his commitment to promoting local talent, makes him a vital voice in the Central Pennsylvania music scene.

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