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Austintown Bands and Orchestra get in the holiday spirit

November 25, 2019
The Town Crier

Austintown Band and Orchestra directors Wesley O'Connor, Jeremy McClaine, Jackie Mortimer and Marc Pupino announce the upcoming Holiday Concert series that will feature over 500 Austintown students from grades five through 12. Pupino, conductor of the Austintown Orchestra program, will kick of the series on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Austintown Fitch High School's Performing Arts Auditorium with his string students from grades five through 12 performing classical Christmas selections from Bach to Handel. A highlight of the concert will be a Christmas finale "Trans-Siberian Orchestra" style.

The following Sunday, Dec. 15, O'Connor will conduct Fitch High School's three bands, the Freshman Band who will kick off the program with "Visions of Sugar Plums" and other selections. The Concert Band will perform "Carol of Drums" along with other favorites. The Fitch Symphonic Band will finish the program with various christmas themed numbers leading up the the annual tradition of the Symphonic Band playing Alfred Reed's 1944 composition "Russian Christmas Music" featuring almost every section of the band including bells, chimes and tympani's which create the feel of an Old World Christmas celebration.

Later that week, the Intermediate School and Middle School Bands will host two concerts. On Tuesday, Dec. 17 Mortimer will conduct the fifth grade band from Austintown Intermediate School and McClaine will lead the sixth grade from Austintown Middle School. The fifth grade beginning band students will play Christmas favorites including "Jingle Bells" while the sixth graders will perform a "Holiday March" and celebrate the "12 Days of Christmas." Then, Wednesday, Dec. 18, McClaine will conduct his seventh grade and eighth grade bands. The seventh grade begins their concert with "Christmas Gloria" and continues with other holiday selections. The eighth grade will take the audience on a ride on "The Polar Express" and conclude with "The Nutcracker Suite."

Article Photos

Director Jeremy McClaine and the sixth grade band at the recent Veteran's Salute. The young musicians will be back at it in December with a host of events to get Austintown in the mood for Christmas.

The concert series concludes on Thursday night, Dec. 19, with Christmas Jazz and Rock at the annual Fitch Holiday Jazz Festival featuring McClaine's AMS Jazz Band and O'Connor's Fitch Jazz 1 and Jazz 2. All concerts are held in the newly renovated Fitch Performing Arts Auditorium. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. Admission, which helps the band programs buy new instruments and music, is $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens 65 and older are free. Families of three or more are $10.

The High School's Pep Band, under the direction of O'Connor will also perform free Christmas favorites at the annual Wickcliffe Circle Fire Station Tree Lighting Ceremony and sing-a-long on Thursday December 5th. The public is invite to join in for fun, cookies and hot chocolate at the Fire Station at Mahoning Avenue and Wickcliffe Circle.

The Bands, grades six through 12, recently gave a "Veteran's Salute" on Sunday, Nov. 10 in the High School Gymnasium to a packed house to honor all Valley men and women on Veteran's Day.



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