They came from far away to salute a man who at one time had a profound impact on their lives.
Indeed, standing room only was the rule of the night at the second in a series of two memorial concerts held recently at the First United Church of Christ in Palmerton.
Former students, friends and colleagues combined their voices and instrumental music talents to pay tribute to John Goodman, former music teacher in the Palmerton Area School District.
Organized by Richard and Darlene Nothstein of Palmerton, the concert was held in honor of Goodman, who passed away in the spring after a long bout with cancer.
Goodman was a vocal and instrumental music teacher in the district for many years, who went on to become the media director for the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit. His Broadway show productions drew audience crowds from far and wide and were widely acclaimed by those who attended.
Before his death, Goodman had been assistant organist on the world's largest pipe organ at the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, and House Organist at the Hershey Theatre, a position he held for over 50 years. He also served many churches throughout eastern Pennsylvania as music and choir director.
The program featured outstanding performances by renowned organist Mark Laubach and oboe specialist Tom Heinze. Other highlights of the event were solos by Joseph Plechavy, Lydia Anthony, Joan Lesko and Kyle Strohl.
In addition, the 50-voice "Holiday Homecoming Chorus" presented the concert as part of their seventh performance. Plechavy was the director of the chorus, while Cindy Mack and Barbara Abel were accompanists.
Attendees came from all over the Lehigh Valley, some from as far away as Harrisburg and New Jersey to honor Palmerton's "Music Man".