Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin Concert Band promises a dose of holiday sentiment


Feelin' a bit Scroogey this time of year?

Banish the "bahs" and "humbugs" and head over to the Dunedin Community Center tonight where the Dunedin Concert Band, now in its 29th performance season, presents "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

With free admission, even old Ebenezer would crack a smile — and he might part with a sixpence or two during the freewill donation at the concert's end.

Either way, he certainly would enjoy the show.

"It's a full-blown Radio City Music Hall-style program," said music director and conductor Louis Alan Zagar, who took over the band in 2008.

Since then, Zagar, who has a doctorate in instrumental music education and wind band conducting, has grown the band from 27 members to 72.

The audience has grown, too.

"We were getting 200 or 300, now we play to standing-room crowds of 850 or more," he said.

He said the key to the success is that he selects music from new and established composers that are complex and challenging to band members.

Don't expect the Rockettes or a flying Santa in this show, but do expect great music and song, an appearance by Mr. Jelly Belly himself, and commentary and jokes by Zagar.

"I'm a bit more Jay Leno than David Letterman," said Zagar, who at age 61 is wearing clear braces to improve his clarinet playing. "We'll have a lot of fun."

The ensemble, ages 15 to 89, will take its audience on an emotional sleigh ride with music like The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, the spirited gospel Go Tell It On the Mountain, and the venerable carol, O Come, All Ye Faithful.

At 89, Jane Sabo, a bell player, is the oldest member of the band. She said music has been her life and it's what keeps her going.

"I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have this," she said.

The concert also features vocal soloists Pamela Hood and Rodney Chapman as well as a special guest performance by the 22-member chamber choir, Choral Essence. The bay area chorale, directed by Arthur Goetze, will sing several holiday favorites from Broadway musicals.

The concert's sentimental theme about coming home "recognizes the spirit of being home for Christmas and paying homage to those who cannot be home because of circumstance or through their passing," Zagar said.

Former band member Robert Youngberg, who died in June at age 78, will be "home for Christmas" as his euphonium rests on his former chair tonight.

And two brothers, members of the Fire Department of New York City, will give a section of a beam from the Twin Towers to the Dunedin Concert Band and the city of Dunedin, in remembrance of their father, Lawrence Stack, who died when the towers collapsed.

"You'll laugh, cry and experience every emotion in between," Zagar promised. "It's Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's Eve and all the sentiments the holidays exude."

>>fast facts

"I'll Be Home for Christmas"

What: A holiday concert by the city of Dunedin Concert Band, directed and conducted by Louis Alan Zagar.

When: 8 p.m. today.

Where: Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pine­hurst Road.

Admission: Free, but donations accepted at concert's conclusion.

For more information: Call the community center at (727) 812-4530.

Dunedin Concert Band promises a dose of holiday sentiment 12/16/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 16, 2010 6:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  2. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick Friday night in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
  5. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101