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Austintown bands to present December concerts

December 5, 2018
The Town Crier

Austintown Fitch Band Director Wesley O'Connor, Austintown Middle School Band Director Jeremy McClaine and Austintown Intermediate School Band Director Jackie Mortimer announce the Austintown Instrumental Music Program's Holiday Concert Series. Over the span of 12 days, 10 student band groups will perform in concerts at Austintown Fitch High School's Performing Arts Auditorium.

The concert series begins at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 with Wesley O'Connor conducting the Fitch High School Freshman, Concert and Symphonic Bands. The Freshman Band will perform holiday numbers including "Wizards in Winter," made popular by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and "Fairytale of New York" which is a popular Irish folk-style ballad by The Progues, a popular Celtic punk band. The Concert Band will include Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You," and a very progressive arrangement of "Ukrainian Bell Carol" by Richard Saucedo. The holiday concert concludes with the Symphonic Band performing holiday standards including Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" and Alfred Reed's rendition of "Greensleeves." Continuing a five decade tradition the Symphonic Band will close the entire program with Alfred Reed's arrangement of "Russian Christmas Music." This piece is considered one of the most popular masterworks for concert band.

Four nights later, on Thursday, Dec. 13, also at 7 p.m. the Austintown Middle School's AMS Jazz under the direction of Jeremy McClaine and Fitch Jazz 1 and Jazz 2 under the direction of O'Connor will hold their annual Christmas Jazz Festival. All three of these musical groups volunteer to practice before and after the school day in addition to their regular band classes.

On Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. Austintown Intermediate School's Fifth Grade Band, under the direction of Jackie Mortimer and Jeremy McClaine will perform holiday standards: Jolly old St. Nicholas, Good King Wenceslas, and Jingle Bells. They will be followed by McClaine conducting the Austintown Middle School Sixth Grade Band with a Christmas medleys "Three Carols for a Celebration" "Street Beat Christmas" and "Bells, Bells, Bells."

The series will end Thursday night, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. with the Austintown Middle School Seventh Grade and Eighth Grade Bands under McClaine's direction. The seventh grade will play various Christmas standards including "Holiday Bell Festival" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The eighth grade will begin their performance with "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas," "Christmas Gloria" and "Fanfare for a Holiday Celebration" among other selections.

Admission to each concert is $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens, admission for families of three or more is $10. All proceeds benefit the Austintown Instrumental Music Programs. The Austintown Band Parents will also be selling the Fitch Band Annual Christmas Ornament at each concert. This year's ornament, "March Grandioso" is the fifth year in a series of pewter and red, white and blue enamel ornaments featuring sections of the band and patriotic songs. Ornaments are $10 each. For more information contact



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