PIQUA — December ushers in the holiday music season, with two local groups offering free concerts this weekend.
Piqua Arts Council will host a concert featuring an array of performers from singers to pianists and guitarists. The “Sounds of the Season Holiday Concert” is set to take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at St. James Episcopal Church, 200 W. High St., Piqua.
The idea for this concert has been brewing for a while, said Jordan Knepper, executive director of Piqua Arts Council.
“We originally wanted to do this as part of a tour of the different churches and have various paid performers at each church,” he said. “It just wouldn’t work out that way though, so we thought what better way to do this than to utilize local performers and a few outside of Piqua performers that we’ve worked with in the past.”
Knepper explained that by utilizing local talent, they’re able to tie the event to the community better and truly showcase Piqua’s talent. Performers will include Summer Littlejohn, Kelsey Painter, Dana Geuy, John Simon, and Mystic Winds Woodwind Trio.
Each act will perform for eight to 10 minutes, with the total length of the program around an hour and a half. The concert is scheduled to start at 3 p.m., but if Mainstreet Piqua’s Downtown Holiday Parade runs past then, it will start 15 minutes after the conclusion of the parade to give people time to get in and get seated.
“We’ve got some really amazing talent lined up. The variety of performances should be great, too,” Knepper said.
Though the event is free, tickets are required and can be obtained through the arts council’s website at www.piquaartscouncil.org. Tickets are limited to the first 200 takers, and several have been claimed already, so don’t delay, Knepper added.
On Sunday, Dec. 4, the Piqua Civic Band will celebrate the season with a 3 p.m. concert at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 325 W. Ash St., Piqua.
The band and its director, Brett Poling, will welcome guest vocalist Dr. David Sievers, who will perform “O Holy Night” and help lead the annual Christmas sing-along.
“The sing-along includes ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town,’ ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Poling said.
Dr. Sievers is an artist-in-residence of voice at the University of Dayton, where he teaches private voice and related coursework. He also co-directs the UD Opera Workshop.
Raised in Kennewick, Wash., Dr. Sievers has been a church musician since the age of 12. He earned his bachelor of music Washington State University, a master’s of music from Boise State University, and his doctorate in music from Indiana University, where he also was an associate instructor, teaching voice and undergraduate vocal pedagogy.
Dr. Sievers has performed on the stages of IU Opera Theater, Bloomington Music Works, the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, Bloomington Early Music Festival, Spokane Opera, Washington East Opera, and Richland Light Opera. He has also appeared with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, the Boise Master Chorale and the Mid-Columbia Oratorio Chorus.
In addition, he is the pastoral associate of music and liturgy at St. Luke Parish in Beavercreek.
The Piqua Civic Band’s yearly holiday concert dates back decades, Poling said. “We have been in our current home of Westminster Presbyterian Church for three years now. Our annual attendance is usually around 200 people.”
In addition to Siever’s solo and the sing-along, other selections at the concert will include Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” “Ancient and Honorable Artillery March,” “The Wonder of Christmas,” “Secret Agent Santa,” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” and more.
Poling said he chooses the selections based on the concert’s theme.
“This year, I decided on a theme of ‘The Wonder of the Holidays.’ I wanted to explore the feelings that people of different ages experience at this wonderful time of year” he explained. “From there, I choose selections from the Hance Memorial Library, area civic band libraries, and some private held libraries of friends.”
For more information about the Piqua Civic Band, visit their website at http://piquacivicband.weebly.com.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341