Smrek family orchestra now holiday tradition


Every Christmas Eve, music fills Rick Smrek’s Boardman home.

Seven violins, a cello, bass, flute, oboe, trumpet, saxophone, piano, and at times a trombone, join together as a makeshift orchestra.

Behind the instruments, however, is what makes the living-room symphony special: Three generations of the Smrek family.

At the helm of this decade-long practice, and of the family’s many-decade-long musical tradition, is Ed Smrek. Like his father and grandfather before him, Ed passed down the gift of music to the younger generations of his family. All five of his children play an instrument, as do all 10 of his grandchildren.

“It all started because of him,” said Ed’s oldest son, Ron. “He pushed it, and encouraged us, and paid for lessons. It’s a musical family, it truly is.”

Read more about it in Friday's Vindicator or on

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