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Concert part fundraiser, part revival

December 21, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- Biting, cold winds swept around North Hagerstown High School Sunday afternoon but inside was a warm delivery of some favorite holiday tunes offered by the Hagerstown Municipal Band.

The performance was part fundraiser, part revival.

No admission was charged for the 4 p.m. concert but spectators were asked to give donations, which will go toward the start-up of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in the county, said Dale Bannon, director of system development for Washington County Public Schools.

Bannon said $855 was collected for the school, which will offer instruction in theater, music, dance and visual arts. The school is scheduled to open in August.

The concert was also designed to generate more interest in the longtime Hagerstown Municipal Band, which has a regular 11-week season in the summer.

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The band used to do a holiday show regularly, but Sunday's was the first one in 25 years, said Bannon.

Chris Stockslager, treasurer of the band and a tuba player in the group, said the band used to make a lot of other appearances, like playing at business grand openings.

While the band is popular among people locally, there are probably many new residents who do not realize it exists, Stockslager said.

The band has been considering broadening its schedule in hopes of building interest and Sunday's concert was part of that move, Stockslager said.

"The band is still here," Stockslager said.

The band played selections like "Sleigh Ride," "The Bells of Christmas," "Nutcracker Suite" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," sung by vocalist Krissy DiMercurio.

The possibility of the band doing more performances was music to the ears of fans.

"I'm going to back them," said local resident Bob Neisser, whose son plays in the band.

"We loved it, every bit of it," Connie Leisinger, a longtime fan of the band, said of Sunday's show.

Leisinger came to the show with her sister, Velma Filsinger.

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