Memories of Jack Asher

Asherโ€™s Chocolate is only the start of Jack Asherโ€™s legacy. Of course, a big part of the legacy is both the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown (FPCG) and Keystone State Boychoir (KSB). FPCG serves as KSB’s home. Jack Asher was the founding Board President of KSB, what would eventually become Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY). Today, 600 young people sing in six different programs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as part of the regionโ€™s largest – and one of the countryโ€™s finest – youth choral arts organizations. It all began with Jack at the helm.

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  1. I saw the connection between Jack and KSB a number of years ago. Jack and his wife were being honored by the Lutheran seminary in Mt. Airy for their years of faithful support of the school. The main hall was full of people, there to celebrate the Ashers. The president called them forward and, at the same time, KSB members sang their way into the hall to serenade Jack. It added to a special night, and they were tickled by KSB being there.

  2. When Fitz and I asked Jack to be the first President of the board, he said, “only if you agree to ‘hustle’.” I thought that was a funny request at the time. But I realized as time went by that Jack was giving me profound advice. He was telling me that having your own choir is like running your own business. You gotta roll up your sleeves and work hard every day. No one is going to care about your business like you will. No job can be above you. And when things have gotten tough, I’ve always had Jack in my head. “Hustle, Steve.” Stop talking about it. Stop complaining about it.

  3. I remember the first year our son received his box of chocolates from Mr. Asher. I was touched and inspired when I learned that he gave each and every boy a gift box every year! What a delicious treat for the boys and their families, Very generous and much appreciated! Jack’s big heart and great generosity will always be remembered.

  4. I cannot think of a better way to honor the memory of Jack Asher than Music, with a concert which includes both our magnificant McLean Memorial Organ and Commonwealth Youthchoirs, especially his beloved KSB. From Chile, where I am at the moment, I will be there in spirit, with my heart full of gratitude for Jack. Gratitude for his encouragement and support for my Ministry at First Church and gratitude for his part in bringing KSB to our Church. Personally, KSB/CY has enriched my life through Song, Travel and Friendship. Much more meaningful is the way CY has enriched the lives of hundreds of young people in the Philadelphia area. My love and blessings to Carol and the Asher Family.

    Heidi Mercado-Littles
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