The 2019 Willard Concert in the Park series starts Tuesday and the school’s orchestra and band were chosen as the season’s opening talent. The students will kick off the season with a “magnificent showcase of talent” from 7 to 8:30 p.m., said Bryson Hamons, Willard parks and recreation director.
Presented by Pepperidge Farm and the Willard parks and recreation department, the concerts are held at 7 p.m. every Tuesday through Aug. 13. A different group or performer plays each session and the music styles can range from bluegrass to rock to classical to folk.
There’s nothing better than for Willard’s own to begin the series. The students unity for the love of music and performing for others is what will make this first performance in the park one for the books, park and recs officials said.
“We wanted to showcase the local talent,” Hamons said. “Not everyone goes to the school to (hear) the orchestra or band concert. A lot of family or friends get to go, but unfortunately not just everyone will go to those concerts. We thought maybe we should just bring them out so the community can see the local talent that we have (in the schools).”
In preparation for Tuesday, the students have been working on their skills all school year to be ready to share their talents with the whole community. The groups are directed by band director Christian Watson and Becky Plotner, who oversees the orchestra.
Those looking to enjoy dinner and a show can feel free to pack a picnic basket and use the covered picnic tables or head over to the concessions which will be available. Concessions available will include hot dogs, chips, candy, popcorn and drinks.
In the event of rain or other inclement weather, the concert will be held indoors at the depot building, which is adjacent to the regular concert area in the park.
The schedule of performing artists and groups includes a wide musical variety, giving something to please all genre preferences. The lineup includes polka, country, rock and roll, pop, orchestra and more.
“We have some great bands coming out — some new, some returning, some favorites,” Hamons said. “This is just a great activity. It’s a great place to see your neighbors, see your friends and to meet new friends.”
SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES
June 4 — Willard City Schools
Willard City Schools presents a showcase featuring two different ensembles of band and orchestra. Students will display their marvelous talent for all to hear.
June 11 — Chardon Polka Band
Modern polka with a twist. The Chardon Polka Band plays your favorite traditional polka to polka rock covers, to their own library of original tunes. It is impossible to listen to them and not have a good time.
June 18 — 99 to Main
You can’t get more local than a band named 99 to Main. Come out and listen to your friends and neighbors play your favorite classic and southern rock with a touch of country mixed-in.
July 2 — North Coast Concert Band
The band started in 1983 under the direction of Frank Menichetti. It consists of more than 85 members from northwest Ohio, including some from Willard. They play several shows a year from Toledo to Willard. For more information, go to www.northcoastconcertband.com.
July 9 — Marquis 66
Marquis 66 presents a wide variety of rock and roll music. The group plays everything from classic rock and country rock to modern rock. Band members have said they believe they have lived through the greatest era of music of all time and are excited to share their talents. This show is sure to have you up on your feet.
July 16 — The Drew Allan Duo
The duo performs all styles of music, providing an exhilarating experience by combining Willard native Drew Allan on guitar and vocals with A.C. Collins on the saxophone. The Drew Allan Duo is is sure to please all music lovers.
July 23 — Spittin’ Image
Twin brothers Blain and Brian Swabb bring their wonderful vocal ability with excellent musicianship, comedy routine and audience participation to Willard. These seasoned veterans have been playing shows for more than 45 years across the region, Florida and Texas.
July 30 — Logan Wells & Patti Ann Variety
Come hear all of your favorite songs at this variety show. They cover an assortment of genres from oldies, classic rock, country, to your favorite pop hit from today. Everyone will hear something they enjoy.
Aug. 6 — Crabgrass Band
Crabgrass is a newly formed band that brings all different genres of bluegrass to the stage. Although they are a new band, each member comes with a history of strong talent and experience. Their harmonies and toe-tapping music are sure to keep you entertained.
Aug. 13 — Semer Brothers All-Star Band
Natives of Willard, Roger and Rob have been playing the local music scene since the 1960s. To close out the summer concert series they combine their talents with many other locals to make up the Semer Brothers All-Star Band. The group also includes Dean Kastraw, Ronnie Lykins, Robin Holthouse, Bob Swartz and Mike Yost.