Hagerstown singer and municipal band perform at Chambersburg holiday concert

December 12, 2012|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • Alexis Barone will be the featured vocalist for the Holly Jolly Christmas Show at The Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pa.
Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Of all the ways to usher in the holiday season, music ranks near the top. A visit from Santa Claus is a close second, and the reading of “The Night Before Christmas” isn’t far behind.

So, when you have all three on the same stage, you’ve hit the holly jolly jackpot.

It will be an afternoon of family entertainment when the Hagerstown Municipal Band presents its annual Christmas show at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at The Capitol Theatre in downtown Chambersburg, Pa.

This is the third year the band has presented a holiday program at the historic theatre, said director Lynn Lerew.

This year’s show is billed as “Holly Jolly Christmas,” and it will feature traditional holiday music from the 50-member Hagerstown Municipal Band that will appeal to audience members of all ages, Lerew said.

In addition to the band, there will be other performances. Robert Eyer Jr. will play the theater’s Moller pipe organ. Tim Gotwald will read “The Night Before Christmas.” There will be a carol sing-along and an appearance by Santa Claus. Also, Dave Wenard and Alexis Barone will sing.

Alexis, the 17-year-old daughter of Mark and Christina Barone of Hagerstown, traces her love of music back to kindergarten when she began singing in the children’s choir at St. Ann Catholic Church.

“I started getting solos early on,” Alexis said. “I moved into the adult choir and, eventually, became a Mass cantor or song leader.”

Now a senior at St. Maria Goretti High School, Alexis continues to cantor Masses and prayer services, “so singing in front of people has just been something I’ve always done,” she said.

Alexis began taking voice lessons with Niki Perini when she was 9 years old. After about a year, Alexis began training with Barbara Stenger, retired vocal faculty from Shepherd University, and also studied with Len Meledandri in Carlisle, Pa.

During her appearance at the “Holly Jolly Christmas” show, Alexis will sing two selections with the band: a medley called “Christmas from the ’50s” and “Grown Up Christmas List.”

This won’t be her first collaboration with the Hagerstown Municipal Band, she said. She sang with the band during their 2012 concert season, and she was scheduled to sing at the season-ending band concert.

“Unfortunately, that event was rained out,” Alexis said. “But they asked me to sing with them for two concerts: Dec. 16 at The Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pa.; and Dec. 23 at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.”

In addition to singing, Alexis also has a love of theater. She began acting at the Washington County Playhouse some years ago, appearing in “Gypsy,” and has performed numerous times with the Chambersburg Community Theatre in plays, as well as its Cumberland Valley Sampler series.

“Even though I live in Hagerstown, I consider The Capitol Theatre my home stage, because I’ve spent so much time there,” she said. “I also performed with Antietam Recreation’s Cowboy Christmas for five seasons, performed at Way Off Broadway in Frederick, (Md.) and I’ve sung several times for the Hagerstown Suns. I was an extra in ‘Greencastle’ and a principle in ‘Reminisce,’ two films that were shot locally.”

Alexis said she moved into film work about four and a half years ago.

“I’m very excited that one of the projects I worked on over the summer, ‘S-VHS,’ will be premiering at Sundance in January,” she said. “I had a very small part but it was great to work with writer Jamie Nash and director Eduardo Sanchez of ‘Blair Witch Project’ fame. My agent submitted me for the TV show, ‘Glee’ and the casting director invited me to audition in New York City last July. I didn’t get a call back, but the experience was simply amazing.”

In addition to singing and acting, Alexis said she took dancing lessons since she was about 2 years old. And, although she said she’s not a great musician, she plays a little piano, guitar and saxophone. She also has a broader life. She has her motorcycle permit, she loves archery, she’s an avid soccer player, and she’s a baker.

“I’m very interested in fitness and nutrition, but I also really like to bake brownies and cupcakes,” she said. “I just take them to school and share with my friends.”

Alexis plans to combine her performing arts interests when she attends college next year.

“Singing is my strength,” she said. “But I also love acting and dancing, so I’ve decided to study musical theatre while I’m in college.”

Her dream, she shared, is to perform on Broadway “or even with a touring company. I’d also love to work on films on the West Coast.”

If you go ...       

WHAT: Holly Jolly Christmas Show with the Hagerstown Municipal Band, Bob Eyer Jr., Dave Wenard, Tim Gotwald and Alexis Barone

WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16

WHERE: The Capitol Theatre, 159 S. Main St., downtown Chambersburg, Pa.

COST: Tickets cost $18, adults; $8, ages 11 through 18; $3, ages 10 and younger

CONTACT: Call The Capitol Theatre box office at 717-263-0202 weekdays and one hour prior to the show.

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