Strongsville Community Band


Severance Hall Concert

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.

Severance Hall photo courtesy of Clifford Norton Studio.


Loras John Schissel, Special Guest Director

Loras John Schissel is the music director and conductor of both the Virginia Grand Military Band and the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Festival Band, two of the finest bands of their type in the world.  He also guest directed the Cleveland Orchestra this summer at Blossom Music Center and also at Public Square for the special 4th of July Week concert. Mr. Schissel has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, conducting orchestras, bands, and choral ensembles in a broad range of musical styles and varied programs.
As a composer and orchestrator, Mr. Schissel has created an extensive catalogue of over 400 works for orchestra, symphonic wind band, and jazz ensemble.  His original musical score for the Bill Moyers PBS special: America’s First River, The Hudson, televised in 2002, received extensive coverage and acclaim.  As a recording artist, Mr. Schissel has amassed a large discography in a wide variety of ensembles and musical genres.  The Blossom Festival “Live” Broadcasts are available, and his recordings with the Virginia Grand Military Band have won numerous awards, including the Suddler Scroll for outstanding musical excellence.

In honor of September 11th, the Virginia Grand Military Band was invited to play a special memorial concert in the Library of Congress’ historic Coolidge Auditorium.  This was the first  wind band to be so honored.

Mr Schissel has appeared in the award-winning PBS television documentary If You Knew Sousa for The American Experience series, as well as on Ben Wattenberg’s Think Tank.  He continues to serve as commentator on the Voice of America and for the U. S. Information Service.  Mr. Schissel is an honorary member of the prestigious Circumnavigators Club and an honorary conductor of the historic Ringgold Band (the last band conducted by John Philip Sousa).  Mr. Schissel has recently been recognized and honored with induction and membership in the American Bandmasters Association.

Strongsville City Jazz

The Strongsville City jazz is one of the most versatile dance bands 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.

Strongsville City Jazz at Masonic Temple Auditorium photo courtesy of owner, Don Emery.

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. 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.

Support the Band - become a patron

The 24th season of the Strongsville Community Band will open with a concert on the Commons on Friday, June 15th. Join your neighbors and Strongsville businesses by supporting the Band with a tax-deductible donation. In addition to this tax incentive, your name will appear in the band programs which are distributed at each summer concert.

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

History of the Band

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.

Upcoming Concerts

2013 -2014 Concert Season

Concerts will be held in the Ehrnfelt Senior Center at 3:00

Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014

2014 Summer Concerts - Our 25th Year!

Friday, June 13 - On The Commons 7:30 PM
Wednesday, June 25 at Baldwin Wallace University with Loras John Schissel 8:00 PM
Friday, June 27 - On The Commons 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 29 - at the Hudson Bandstand @ 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 3 - On The Commons 7:30 PM
Friday, July 11- at the Strongsville Historical Society 7:30 PM
Friday, July 25 - at the Ehrnfelt Senior Center 7:30 PM
Friday, August 1 - Strongsville City Jazz Swing Band at the Ehrnfelt Senior Center 7:30 PM
Friday, August 8 - On The Commons 7:30 PM

Rehearsal Schedule

All SCB rehearsals will be in the Senior Center from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Jan. 14, 21
Feb. 4, 11, 13 (Thurs), 25
April 8, 29
May 6 (new), 13

Summer Rehearsals
June 9, 11, 23, 24 (Tues. at BW), 30
July 2, 7, 9, 21, 23
August 4, 6

Board of Directors

Ken Mehalko, Director
Ellen Dublo, President
Karen Muskoff, Treasurer
Sandy Dublo

Bea Hovanec
Kathy Lane
John McDermott
Renee McDermott

Terry Muskoff
Betty Rahm
Don Rahm
Helen Rathburn
Tom Rathburn

Strongsville Community Band Personnel

Carolyn Ermlick, Office Manager
Laurie Furtado, Database Administrator

Carolyn Ermlick, Office Manager
Laurie Furtado, Database Administrator
Alexandra Craciun, Music Therapy Student
Ellen Hansen-Ellis, BW Con Admin. Asst.
Sara Kennedy, Wildlife Research Coord.
Leslie Meadows, Music Thearapist
Renee McDermott, Airline Sales Manager
Marilyn Zoller, Retired Music Teacher

Sue Keserich, Graduate Music Student
Jeff Kish, Graduate Student
Joy A. Slonaker, RISC Manager

Sue Keserich, Graduate Music Student

Adrienne Hansen-Ellis, Student
Jim Husak, Retired U.S. Air Force
Alison Whitney, Business Analyst

Ann Marie Fuhrmann, Music Teacher

Susan Capuder, CPA
Kathy DeBlasi, Music Teacher
Beth Dier
Gayle Kish, CSU Music Dept.
Ann Marie Fuhrmann, Music Teacher
Jody Halley
Marty Kapinski, Editor
Gayle Kish, Clev. State Music Dept.
Ron Nelson, Database Analyst
Joe Rongone, Ins. Claims Rep.
Tom Seese, Retired
Debbie Smee, Music Teacher

Elaine Kubis, St. Joseph & John Teacher
David Smee, Lab Manager

Jamie De Pould, Photographer
Dick Millard, Retired Music Teacher
Trudge, Graduate Student

Scott Halley, Engineer
Tom Mordaunt, Retired F.B.I. Agent

Glenn Bernasek, Retired Tech. & USAR



James Heinrich, President-Instrumentors
Peter Hoekje, BW Physics Professor
Ryan Harris, Music Teacher
Mark Hentosh, Sotware Developer
Dave Luddington, H.S. Band Director
Doug Painting, Business Owner
Reinhold Toerek, Engineer
Andrew Sanzotta, Radio Broadcasting
James Wonnacott, Retired Music Teacher

Ingrid Askenbeck, Retired Psychotherapist
Nancy Bolterstein, Administrative Assistant
Linda Gardner, Church Organist, Ret. Music Teacher
Matt Grittner, BW Music Student
Ann Painting, Substitute Teacher

Dave Hartman, Director of Safety
Ryan Heinrich, VP Instrumentors
Mike Leone, Univ. School Music Teacher
Kevin Wenner, Lab Technician

David Betts, Music Teacher
Peter Dinin, Database Administrator
Bill Kelly, Chemist

Karl Beckman, Engineer
Randy Border, BW Dir. of Athletic Bands
John Meyers, Music Retail
Jim Reynolds, Cleve. Orch. Dev. Operations

Clarence Barber, Composer
Dr. Rosario Cambria, Interpreter
William Currier, Retired Principal
Dan Kelley, Telecom Planning Analyist
Darryl Mika, Computer Programmer

Jon Marshall, Retired Strongsville Teacher

Bonnie Kelly





Events Calendar

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

Band Member Info

Recording sessions at BW Kulas Auditorium May 27 & 28. Rehearsal added Tues, May 6.

Summer concerts and rehearsals are posted.
We will perform in Hudson again on June 29.

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