When I first started teaching in Mansfield in 1990, I had trouble adjusting to the idea of living in a small community after 10 years of urban residencies. But the area captured my heart.
First, I love my job as director of choral activities at Mansfield University! Mansfield University is the musical capital of the area with more than 100 concerts or recitals presented annually. The historical tradition of a strong music department with its proud alumni, colleagues who are committed to musical excellence, and the talented and delightful students who respond in ways that continue to astound me have afforded me the opportunity to develop a choral program where we, together, can perform the great works of choral music here and around the world. The support from the university, especially through Student Activity funds, has made it possible to sing in Carnegie Hall in New York City, in the Scottish Rite Cathedral of San Antonio, Texas, in the Overture Center of Madison, Wisconsin, and 18 European countries in the world’s largest choral festivals and competitions. So making music here is the number one perk!
Having grown up on a farm, I also appreciate the natural beauty of the area. Anyone who visits me in my office in the Butler Music Center revels at the view across the valley and the mountains during any season of the year! And you can drive in any direction from Mansfield and view breathtaking scenery!
My husband, Jürgen Thym, coined the phrases we often use to describe our life in Mansfield: “We live in the middle of everywhere” (rather than nowhere) and “enjoy the fast life!” How so? You can get to large metropolitan areas in a half-day’s drive: New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Toronto, to name a few. And you can get to the bank, post office, dentist or doctor in minutes with travel only a few stop-lights away! No waiting in stopped traffic or long lines! And some of the eateries can be compared to the best in those metropolitan areas: the Night & Day Café and the Cedar Run Inn are treasures.
Finally, the large 19th-century home with 12 acres we have enjoyed for more than 25 years attests to the affordability to live luxuriously in the Northern Tier of beautiful Pennsylvania!