Baldwin Wallace University Concert - June 2014
Ken Mehalko, Director
Ken Mehalko has been bringing music to Strongsville for the past 52 years. During most of those years, 1961-1990, he served as the Director of Instrumental Music at Strongsville High School. The ensembles he directed-the marching band, concert band, orchestra and jazz ensemble received statewide and national recognition for their musical excellence at state contests, music conventions and parades such as the Orange Bowl Parade and the Tournament of Roses Parade. In 1990 he founded the Strongsville Community Band and two years later, the Strongsville City Jazz. He and his wife, Beverly created Puttin’ On The Glitz, a successful musical variety show in Strongsville for persons over 55 years of age. Ken has also served as a music educator in Chile for the Ohio Arts Council as a guest of the Chilean Ministry of Culture on five different occasions. He recently retired as Director of Athletic Bands at Baldwin-Wallace College. He graduated from Baldwin –Wallace College in 1961 with a degree in music education and holds a master of arts degree from Case Western Reserve University. He is a member of the Strongsville Rotary Club, performs with the TOPS Swing Band, is a past member if the Strongsville Education Foundation and has been very active in the Ohio Music Education where he held various offices over the years. His many honors and awards include: The Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory Alumni Achievement Award; Baldwin-Wallace College Outstanding Educator Award; Strongsville High School Distinguished Alumni Award as a former teacher and a Medical Mutual Of Ohio Outstanding Senior Volunteer Honorable Mention Award for his work with the “Glitz”. He lives in Strongsville with his wife, Beverly Wehr.
Strongsville City Jazz Swing Band
The Strongsville City Jazz is one of the most versatile groups of its kind in the Cleveland area, playing everything from jazz classics to swing music from the big band era. The fine musicians who make up the band bring a variety of musical experience to their performances that include entertaining at Playhouse Square, The Front Row Theater, Kenley Players, and The Coliseum. Some members of the band have performed with some well-known ensembles, including The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Warren Covington, Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, and Jimmy Dorsey big bands and The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. The band performs during the summer as part of the Strongsville Community Band Summer Concerts and in other area communities. During the winter the band has been featured at a number of Cleveland area high school jazz festivals and on occasion has played for some dances.
Check out the article about the "Christmas Jazz" concert in the Strongsville Post . Click here.
Vocalist Kim Wasielewski complements the band with her refreshing vocal renditions of many pop favorites. Kim, a dance instructor and yoga teacher, has been singing with the band for a number of years.
The Strongsville City Jazz is co-directed by Ken Mehalko and James Wonnacott. Ken founded the band in 1992. He is retired from the Strongsville City Schools where he successfully directed the high school band for 29 years. Presently he directs the Strongsville Community Band, and is the former Director of Athletic Bands at Baldwin Wallace College.
James Wonnacott is also a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College (now University). He retired from the Strongsville City Schools in 1996 where he had success teaching at Center Junior High School. As a freelance musician and arranger he has performed for many prominent bands and entertainers, including The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and has toured with singer Al Martino. On June 27, 2011 Jim performed with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, featuring the Pied Pipers at Lake Chautauqua, New York. He is the founder and former Musical Director of the Baldwin-Wallace Alumni Jazz Orchestra. Jim received the 2009 BW Conservatory Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his accomplishments as a performer and educator in the Cleveland area and his dedication to the Alumni Jazz Orchestra and was awarded the BW Alumni Association Merit Award in May, 2011. On July 11, 2012 the Cleveland TOPS Swingband named Jim as its new Music Director. On May 2, 2013 Jim was inducted into the Euclid High School Alumni Association's Distinguished Acheivement Hall of Fame.
New concert dates:
Sunday, Oct. 25 at Bethel Lutheran Church, 7171 Pearl Rd, Middleburg Hts. at 3:00. This is a benefit concert for the Middleburg Early Education Center. There is no charge but a FREE WILL offering will be taken.
Friday, Dec. 18 at Strongsville United Church of Christ at 7:30. A "big band" Christmas.
Give a gift to your community and yourself by joining one of our “ensembles” this year. The donation levels are:
$25-$49 Woodwind Ensemble
$50-$99 Brass Ensemble
$100-$299 Percussion Ensemble
$300-$499 Jazz Ensemble
$500+ Director’s Circle
Checks may be sent to:
Karen Muskoff, Treasurer
20771 Oak Trail Court
Strongsville, OH 44136
The Strongsville Community Band was founded in 1990 by director Ken Mehalko. The band received its initial financial support from the Strongsville Women’s League. It now has a board of directors who set policies and raise and manage monies to support the band’s activities. The City of Strongsville provides the performance and rehearsal areas.
The Strongsville Community Band performs six outdoor concerts during the summer months on the Strongsville Commons. Also scheduled in the Cultural Center of the Ehrnfelt Recreation and Senior Center are a Christmas Concert, a Winter Concert and a Spring Concert.
Outstanding musicians from all walks of life, including students, professionals and retirees join together in this community band because of their love for making music. The ensemble programs a variety of musical styles including marches, light classics and “pop” selections and other contemporary literature from the concert band repertoire. The band has also performed at other communities in the area including The Lorain Palace Theater with the Patriots Concert Band and at Lakeland Community College with the Lakeland Civic Band and two performances at Severance Hall, the home of The Cleveland Orchestra. Loras John Schissel, Dr. Frederick Fennell, Dr. Howard Meeker and Dr. Gary Ciepluch are but a few of the guest directors who have conducted the band in concert.
2015 -2016 Concert Season
Concerts will ba at 3:00 p.m. unless noted.
Sunday, Nov. 1 at Baldwin Wallace University (Kulas Hall) at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 13 in the Ehrnfelt Sr/Rec Center
Sunday, Feb. 28 in the Ehrnfelt Sr/Rec Center
Sunday, May 15 in the Ehrnfelt Sr/Rec Center
Sept. 8, 22
Oct. 13, 27
Nov. 10, 24
Jan. 12, 26
Feb. 9, 23
April 12, 26
Ken Mehalko, Director
Excerpts from previous performances in mp3 file format. Click on track to play.
From the Feb. 19, 2011 performance at Ehrnfelt Event Center:
Duke Ellington Medley
Henry Mancini Medley
From the June 24, 2010 performance at B-W:
Irish Tune and Shepherd's Hey - Percy Grainger
Porgy and Bess Selections - Gershwin, arr. by Robert Russell Bennett
Italian in Algiers - G. Rossini, arr. by Calliet
Scottish Dances, 1st movement - Malcom Arnold, arr. by Paynter
Scottish Dances, 2nd movement - Malcom Arnold, arr. by Paynter
Caribbean Hideaway - James Barnes. David Kay, saxophone solo; James Wonnacott, trumpet solo.
Wedding Dance - Jacques Press
2015-2016 Concerts and rehearsals are posted.