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PAL artistic director John LaCava retires

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LURAY -- (From a press release) John W. LaCava, a founding member of the Performing Arts Luray board of directors who also served as president and artistic director, is retiring.

Three years after spearheading the grassroots arts organization, the retired music instructor will focus on his first love - music. LaCava will continue to serve as director of the Main Street Singers, the Community Choir and the newly-formed Regional Wind Ensemble.

According to Lowell Baughan, president of Performing Arts Luray, "John will always be known as the founding father of PAL and without his drive for success the Center wouldn't be here."

Under LaCava's guidance, PAL presented three seasons of music, comedy, theatre and dance. The largest endeavor was the purchase in August of 2006 of the former BB&T bank building in downtown Luray, where LaCava often served as house manager and custodian in addition to his creative contributions.

PAL vice president Dale Houff notes: "His vision of a performing arts center has turned out to be a fantastic opportunity to expose many to performances in the arts which they would not have traveled elsewhere to see.

"Many local residents and especially children have been given instruction and a stage on which to perform, which they would not have had. His demand for excellence is obvious and he gets results. It now appears the jobs he handled tirelessly and alone at PAL will require at least four to six people."

The fall season begins Oct. 24 with "Edgar Allen Poe Comes Alive," which is sponsored by Lancaster Enterprises.

For more information about Performing Arts Luray, visit the Web site at PerformingArtsLuray.org.

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