Retired East Penn Teacher Sings, Tickles Funny Bones
Sandy Schantz has helped many immigrants learn English and life skills, and she also enjoys performing with the Macungie Minstrelaires.
Name: Sandy Schantz
Family: Sandy and her husband, Russel, have been married for 47 years. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Occupation: “We own a farm and are very busy when the crops come in. I am also retired from the East Penn School District, where I taught elementary students and, later, I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at the high school.”
Name of organizations: Macungie Minstrelaires and Grace Lutheran Church, Macungie
Describe what you do: “At my church, I volunteered for the Vietnamese Resettlement Program in the 1970s. Since I was teaching ESL, it was only natural to me to help them learn the language and life skills here in America.
“Also at the church, I am a member of the council and choir. I am the Superintendent of the Sunday School, Director of Christian Education and a communion assistant.
“With the Minstrelaires, I am a singer and comedian. I love being a comedian, because you can make a mistake and no ones knows! The group started out in 1957 doing minstrels, but now we do variety shows.
“I have been the president of the group for about 15 years. That also keeps me busy. I copy material for new members, make the ads, get agendas for meetings, and more.
“This year we are doing “Souled on Motown” Oct. 26 and 27, and Nov. 2 and 3. All proceeds from the show will benefit the Angel Network of East Penn School District.
"The Minstrelaires also give two $750 scholarships to Emmaus High School seniors who choose to pursue music each year: the ‘Neil Kline Scholarship’ and the ‘Kyle Schmoyer Scholarship.’”
Why and how long have you volunteered? “I joined the group in the mid-1960s. My husband belonged to the Minstrelaires from its start and I just followed him. He still sings with them and also helps with scenery.”
Tell us a story about any experiences you may have had with this organization: “I don’t really have any interesting or unusual experiences, except that my entire family is, or was, involved with the Minstrelaires. It began with my husband, then myself. Both of our daughters became members of the group at some point. Now, two of our grandchildren, a 6-year-old and 5-year-old, have been with the Minstrelaires since they were 2. That is the minimum age they can start.
“Our one daughter had to stop singing with us because they moved out of the area and are too far away to participate. But if she lived nearby, she and her three children would be involved, too.”
How can someone get involved with this group if they want? “They can call me at 610-966-3145, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website. We are always looking for talent and helpers.”