The Edwardsville Municipal Band is ready to jingle all the way into the holiday season with some festive tunes at its free winter concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, at Edwardsville American Legion Post 199, 58 South State Route 157.
The Municipal Band’s annual holiday performance is a tradition going back at least 20 years. This year’s concert will mix in some fun new features, including a few dozen student performers from the Edwardsville School District and area parochial school bands.
“It’s going to be much more upbeat,” said Steve Wehling, Municipal Band board chairman and a musician with the band. “We thought this would be something fun that we could do to really involve the community. We’d love to see everyone come out and enjoy the show.”
In addition to the guest performers, Wehling said the concert will include a sing-along on several tunes, and the American Legion is working to have Santa Claus attend. The concert is expected to run about an hour.
The holiday show serves as an annual wrap-up performance for the City of Edwardsville’s Municipal Band, which dates back to the 1880s and is featured in weekly concerts in City Park during the summer. It also offers a Memorial Day tribute concert, marches in the Halloween and Veterans Day parades and performs at select other events. This season saw a new chapter open for the band, which welcomed two new conductors, John Korak and Rubén Darío Gómez, who are both Edwardsville residents and faculty members in the Music Department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
The Municipal Band’s concert will cap off a weekend of festivities in Edwardsville that also includes the debut of the Winter Market Festival in City Park, 101 S. Buchanan Avenue. That Parks and Recreation Department event is scheduled for 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and will feature a park full of artisan vendors with various holiday gift options, entertainment and music, food, visits with Santa from 2 to 5 p.m., s’mores kits for roasting, and the City’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony to wrap up the fun around 5:30 p.m.