The Lehigh Concert Band is once again ready to strike up the band for another season. This local community group is a non-profit organization that has existed since 1979 and provides the opportunity for Lehigh Acres residents and Lee County visitors to join together to perform free concerts and support ceremonial occasions in its local area.
The band will perform a free Christmas concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15 at Faith Lutheran Church at 705 Leeland Heights Blvd. in Lehigh. The concert will feature seasonal selections such as Sleigh Ride, I'll be Home for Christmas, and Santa Claus is coming to Town.
The band will also perform German Christmas festival and festive sounds of Hanukah. There will be an audience sign-along with Christmas carols and the audience will be encouraged to join in.
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The Lehigh Concert Band.
Children are welcome and will listen to a narration of T'was the night before Christmas.
There will be a collection of non-perishable food items at the concert and promoters are urging visitors to make a donation from your pantry to the Lehigh Community Services.
The band's musical season is from November to April and it gathers together every week to rehearse and fine tune a program of musical selections aimed at satisfying the pleasure of all concert band fans. Musicians are encouraged to join them and become members.
They perform at least once a month in Lehigh and Southwest Florida at festivals, churches and retirement homes as a full concert band or in small groups.
The current conductor, John Monacan, served 39 years in armed forces bands and retired in 2010 so he could participate during the winters in Lehigh.
Other members of the band, such as Lynne Criss on saxophone and George Unverzagt on trumpet, were college and school music teachers who have a wealth of musical background to bring to the band performances.
The musicians come from a variety of backgrounds and membership to the band is open to everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, or creed and can be as a musician or also as a patron or assistant.
The January concert will feature some Broadway show tunes. February will be music of love and what would a March concert be without some St. Patrick's Day music. The plan for the final concert of the season in April is to do a Boston Pops type format outside at Veterans Park on Homestead Rd.
All concerts are free but donations are appreciated and form the majority of funding for ongoing operations of the band.