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This afternoon’s Songs of Christmas concert at Memorial Lutheran Church in Shippensburg will go on in spite of an accident last night that critically injured pianist Brian Helman.

Brian Helman
Brian Helman

Corey Rotz, the tenor featured in the holiday event, said this morning Valarie Merriman has volunteered to take Helman’s place at the piano for the 4 p.m. performance.

Helman’s injuries in last night’s pedestrian accident were life-threatening, according to Chambersburg Police Department. He was treated at the scene by Chambersburg Fire Department personnel and Geisinger paramedics then airlifted to York Hospital.

A condition update was not available from the hospital this morning. CPD Chief Ron Comacho said his condition was still critical early this afternoon.

The accident happened at 10:22 p.m. in the 1000 block of Wayne Avenue.

Helman is a popular musician and piano teacher who often performs with Washington National Opera tenor Corey Rotz. He is part of Rotz’s local Boy Band that includes bassist Herm Hopple, and drummer Sam Hepfer.

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As a musician and piano teacher, he performs locally as well as with national touring groups.

In October 2011, Helman performed with Rotz for the Supreme Court Justices in Washington, DC.

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