By JULIE E. GREENE
7:58 PM EST, December 23, 2012
Beth Hudak brought five of her 18 grandchildren to “A Hagerstown Holiday,” a free concert given Sunday afternoon by the Hagerstown Municipal Band and Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Wind Band at The Maryland Theatre.
Hudak, 61, of Hagerstown, settled in between the youngsters: Thomas Hudak, 7; Sofia Hudak, 4; Grace Flynn, 7; Kate Flynn, 5; and Moria Flynn, 4.
“I just thought it would be something fun to do,” Beth Hudak said.
The children don’t usually get to see a live band, she said.
While the kids were fully expected to squirm during the concert, Hudak said that was OK, as long as they enjoyed it.
Many of the people in the packed theater appeared to be enjoying the concert, the first holiday concert that the Municipal Band has performed in the historical theater for at least 25 years, according to Band Director Lynn Lerew.
The Ingram School’s Wind Band opened the concert, performing three selections, including “A Christmas Fantasy” and “Farandole.”
Local TV and radio personality Lou Scally made fun of the theater’s chilly conditions, thanking everyone for “coming out on this warm afternoon to sit in our chilly theater.”
Ron Bowers, chairman of the theater’s building committee, said the “thermostat tripped” earlier in the day and the temperature inside was slowly rising. Aiming for 70 degrees, Bowers monitored the temperature on his smartphone. It reached 60 degrees after the first song.
The free concert had several sponsors, including WJEJ, Super Shoe, Hamilton Nissan and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Scally said.
After a stylish introduction for the Municipal Band, with music stopping occasionally for the announcer to introduce the event, the band performed the national anthem while the audience sang along.
Mark and Becky Zeigler drove more than two hours from their Pennsylvania home, between Harrisburg and State College, to see and hear their daughter, Alyson Balascik, 27, play the flute in the Municipal Band.
Mark Zeigler said they usually come down at least once a summer to see the band perform at City Park.
The couple saw their daughter perform in holiday concerts when she was in high school and college, but this was the first Municipal Band holiday concert in which they had seen her perform, Becky Zeigler said.
The theater has hosted several events this month.
Theater ushers were encouraged to be festive for the holidays, said House Manager June Datum, who was wearing a necklace of blinking Christmas lights and a headband with two bouncing reindeer heads.
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