Dr. Kenneth Raessler’s archives to be donated to the Taber Museum

The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society is pleased to announce the acquisition of archival materials relating to the Williamsport period of the career of Dr. Kenneth R. Raessler. Dr. Raessler was influential in the development of the K-12 music education program within the Williamsport Area School District.

A reception marking the occasion will be held on Sunday, May 19, from 3 to 6 p.m. Dr. Raessler will be the honored guest.

Dr. Raessler served as the K-12 Supervisor of Music Education from 1973 until 1989. During his tenure within the school district, he developed and elevated the curriculum, with the full support of the WASD Superintendent and School Board, to a nationally-recognized program.

Over the ensuing years, the program has received many national and state awards. The influence of the music program is witnessed by the large number of Williamsport Area High School graduates who have subsequently enjoyed careers in performance, conducting and teaching throughout the country as well as the expansion of musical and cultural opportunities and organizations in Lycoming County.

The afternoon will feature a number of musical interludes, recordings from the archival material and a display of the donated memorabilia. The donation includes more than 50 digitized recordings of WASD ensemble performances as well as programs, books, newspaper clippings and correspondence from the period. The digitized recordings were facilitated by the Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, where Dr. Rasessler was Director of the School of Music following his tenure in the “WASD. A copy of Dr. Raessler’s book, Aspiring to Excel: Leadership Initiatives for Music Education,” published in 2003, will also be included in this gift. It outlines understandings developed from professional research, theory and literature, corroborated by the WASD Experience.

The Taber Museum is the repository for materials relating to the founding and growth of Lycoming County. Archival materials are housed within a temperature and humidity-controlled storage area of the museum. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, one of approximately 740 throughout the country with that designation.

While the reception is free and open to the public, officials at the museum are requesting reservations be made by calling the museum at 326-3326 or emailing

Former participants in Williamsport Area School District performance ensembles and current or former faculty of the music program are encouraged to attend. For more information, please call the museum at 326-3326.