Strongsville Community Band

The Strongsville Community Band, seen here, and the Strongsville City Jazz Swing Band have Christmas concerts planned this month.

STRONGSVILLE – Most would agree, music stokes the flame of the warmth of the holiday season.

The Strongsville Community Band and the Strongsville City Jazz Swing Band each have an upcoming concert to celebrate the season with a joyful sound.

The community band will host its annual Christmas concert, one of its most popular of the year, at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Ehrnfelt Recreation Center, 18100 Royalton Road in Strongsville.

The concert is free and everyone is welcome.

The playlist includes traditional carols like “White Christmas” and “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” The band will also play a medley of music from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and a medley of popular Christmas songs from the ‘50s older audiences will remember.

The band will be joined by vocalists Kim Wasielewski, Riley Sheppard and Meghan Galloway.

“The 65-member band is recognized as one of the premier amateur musical organizations in northeast Ohio and is happy to share their musical talents with you this holiday season,” said Director Ken Mehalko.

If jazzy tunes are more your speed, you’re in for a treat.

The Strongsville City Jazz Swing Band, a 19-member ensemble, will perform “The Swinging Sounds of Christmas” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 14 at the Strongsville United Church of Christ, 13740 Pearl Road in Strongsville.

The playlist will feature traditional Christmas music that’s been jazzed up.

“Some of its members have played professionally with some well-known ensembles including: The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Warren Covington, Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Cleveland TOPS Orchestra,” said Mehalko, who co-directs the jazz band.

Admission to the jazz concert is $10 for adults and $5 for students. A wine and cheese reception will follow the concert.

Mehalko said the community band’s Christmas concert has become a tradition in the city and is a must-hear performance.

“It has become popular in Strongsville, for example, one nursery school wants me to save seats for them and someone called last summer wanting to know when the concert was because they have made it a family tradition,” he said. “It makes me feel good that people are relating to this as an institution.”

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