Piccolo players will stand tall as they go for the world record

The word “piccolo” means “small” in Italian. But if you get 190 piccolo players together for a performance of “Stars and Stripes Forever,” that means “world record.”

That is what the Canfield Community Concert Band is trying to do.

On June 27, at the bandshell at Austintown Park, the CCC band will present Piccolo Palooza at 7 p.m. It’s inviting area piccolo players to join in for an epic performance of John Philip Sousa’s rousing patriotic march in hopes of breaking the world record set in Dallas last year.

So far, about 40 players of the diminutive flute have signed up. But there is still time.

To sign up for the attempt, go to canfieldccband.org.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. The piccolo players will be placed on risers in front of the stage. For information, contact band president Leann Rich at lrich1216@gmail.com.

Even if they don’t break the record, Rich won’t be disappointed. “It will still be pretty cool,” she said.

Rich views it as a fun way for the band to engage the community, showcase area musicians, maybe find some new recruits and also garner a large audience.

The Canfield Community Concert Band plays a concert every year at Austintown Park, which is on Kirk Road.


The Youngstown Playhouse’s production of “Hairspray” featured some big hair – and box office.

The musical, which closed Sunday, averaged 400 tickets sold per night over its six-show run. That makes it the top-selling show in the Playhouse’s recent history.

“Hairspray” handily beat the previous box-office champ, “Cats” (2015), which averaged 350 per night, and other recent hits such as “The Wiz,” “A Chorus Line” and “Mary Poppins.”

Quick question: What did all five of those productions have in common?

Answer: James Major Burns. The talented triple-threat actor appeared in each one of those musicals. He played Seaweed in “Hairspray” and lit up his scenes.


The Millennial Theatre Company hopes to raise awareness about suicide with its new original musical, “Nothing or All,” which will continue this weekend at Calvin Center in Youngstown.

Joe Asente, who wrote and stars in the show, thought it best to create a story that does not focus on the act of suicide itself, but rather tell the story of a person struggling with depression. The goal is to alert audience members of the warning signs of a suicidal individual, and to destigmatize mental illnesses.

Millennial is partnering with the local Help Hotline to provide information about suicide. It also will host a talk-back sesson with Help Hotline’s Cathy Grizinski after Friday’s performance.

“Art has always been a catalyst for change,” said Asente. “We are able to tell an important story through a work of art that changes the audience for the better.”

Savannah Florkowski, who composed the songs in the show, said opening a dialog about the issue is crucial because depression takes on multiple forms that go undetected.

According to director Sydney Olejnik, “Nothing or All” emphasizes how difficult it can be to identify people who are battling depression and suicidal thoughts.

The show is being presented in the Rust Belt Theater Company space. Two performances remain: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students and seniors) and can be reserved by calling 330-507-2358.


Jabari Kearsey, the highly animated drummer for jazz great Marion Meadows, will be back in Youngstown this weekend. Jabari, as he’s known, is worth the price of admission alone. But he’s teaming up with Valley players Billy Beck, of the Ohio Players, and Alfred Clarett for an ad hoc dream trio.

Check YouTube for videos of Jabari. Then check out the shows, which will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Fried’a, 381 W. Rayen Ave., near downtown (across the street from Charlie Staples barbecue restaurant).

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