Breonna Dull

Associate features editor

The Lancaster community gathered Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023 to enjoy live music at the fourth annual MusicFest. MusicFest is a fundraising event hosted by SmartHub to support Children’s Miracle Network and the Music Therapy Program at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. Smarthub aims to create a positive change in Lancaster City by partnering with local organizations to amplify their outreach and impact. 

Local bands, food trucks, artists, street performers, and organizations celebrated creative expression from 12-8p.m. in Buchanan Park, Lancaster City. This year’s band line-up included Woodson Steel Experience, Burn the Jukebox, Bumbada! Women Drummers, Sweet Leda, and the headliner Kelly Bell Band. The Kelly Bell band continued to jam out with the crowd despite the rain during their set.

The park hosted plenty of food choices including Blazin J’s, Souvlaki Boys, soft pretzels, and drinks with souvenir cups for those over age 21. 

Two vendors, Hemp Fields Botanicals and Adom Clothing LLC, had small shops set up. Hemp Fields Botanicals offers a variety of CBD products in oils, drinks, foods, and topical treatments. Adom Clothing LLC sold colorful tie dye shirts, pants, and bags.

Behind a machine blowing bubbles into the wind, Papa Tater’s Magic Show entertained kids and their parents.

Kids tried out guitars, flutes, and a viola at a local organization stand, MusiCorps. Musicorps is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the joys of music to all children regardless of financial ability. MusicCorps started in 2020 on a volunteer basis before partnering with SmartHub to become a nonprofit. 

Qualifying students can have private music lessons at no cost. All music instructors involved volunteer some of their time and are paid for teaching scholarship students.

Program director, Kelly Buchanan, founder of MusiCorps is a music teacher and musician. Buchanan is also part of a band that performed at last year’s MusicFest, Dimestore Dolls. Buchanan saw a need in Lancaster City for music lessons for underprivileged kids. She grew up playing piano and guitar and believes all children deserve the opportunity to have music in their lives.

“Being able to do music has helped tremendously in my life,” says Buchanan, “I think it’s a great way of coping with trauma and processing everything you go through as a teenager. I see it as such a critical way to deal with the world around you and all of your emotions in positive ways. I wanted more youth in Lancaster to have access to that skill.”

Pictured above: Kelly Buchanon of Musicorps proudly watches a child practice guitar.

The team of teachers at MusiCorps share the same dream to teach music to the next generation without financial limitations. They offer private music lessons for guitar, flute, piano, ukulele, and viola. Buchanan is fluent in Spanish and French, broadening the demographic of students able to take lessons.

MusiCorps is interested in Music Education majors getting involved in their teaching program. MusiCorps also has internship opportunities for students. For inquiries, email or reach out through their website

SmartHub and local groups gathering for the love of music created a strong sense of community in the park. Each year, different vendors, food trucks, and bands attend MusicFest, so be sure to check out next year’s celebration!

Pictured above: The Kelly Bell Band plays an original blues song for the crowd.