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Packard Band and guests celebrate Christmas

Singers, dancers and drummers will join the W.D. Packard Concert Band Sunday for its annual Christmas celebration.

Traditionally one of the band most popular concerts of the year, this year’s event will feature five area dance schools performing routines with live accompaniment by the band.

Participating dance schools and the songs they’ll perform to are D.C. Dancers, “Holiday Treat”; Jill’s Dance Shop, “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”; Jeannette’s School of Dance, “A Swingin’ Christmas”; Jordan School of Ballet, “Waltz of the Flowers”; James Dance & Performing Arts Center, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

New this year will be Howland World Music Drums, directed by Shawn Reynolds. The ensemble will perform “African Bell Carol.”

Guest conductor will be Frank Tracz. The Ohio State University graduate is professor of music and director of bands at Kansas State University, where he coordinates undergraduate and graduate conducting activities, teaches classes in music education and administers and guides all aspects of the K-State band program.

Vocalist Cortney MacKay, who has performed with the Packard band in the past and been featured in Easy Street Productions’ “Miracle on Easy Street,” will sing selections from the movie “The Polar Express” and “Let It Go” from the animated film “Frozen.”

Dana Victor, a frequent guest vocalist with the band, will open the program with “The Star-Spangled Banner” before returning as Mrs. Santa Claus to perform “O Holy Night,” “Jingle Bells,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” to usher in the arrival of the man in red. Santa Claus will pass out treats and listen to Christmas wishes after the concert.

Other selections will include “Christmas in the Round,” “Sparkling Lights,” “Fantasy on Deck the Hall” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The concert starts at 2 p.m. Sunday at Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren. Admission is free and funding is provided by the W.D. Packard trust.

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