Niles High School band students to perform free holiday concert Dec. 16

NILES — Josh Doe, the band director for Niles High School, is looking to give community members the gift of music this holiday season.

To do so, students from the Niles High School symphonic and concert bands will host a Holiday Encore Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. After the hour-long concert, there will be a spaghetti dinner in the school cafeteria. Tickets for the dinner are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Proceeds from the dinner will support the high school’s bands.

In addition to music and food, people who attend will also have the chance to get their photo taken with Santa Claus.

Doe said the traditional Encore Concert includes songs that are played during students’ earlier winter concert. He said the goal of having a concert that features a similar set list is to allow more people to hear youth play music. Doe said he hopes that having a show earlier in the day will entice more people to attend.

“We are kind of trying to make it like a community event where people can come out and listen,” Doe said. “It’s growing every year. We are hoping it gets even bigger.”

During the concert, those who attend will hear holiday and winter-themed songs. New this year, Doe hopes the audience will be delighted by a number featuring Krampus, a folklore figure said to punish children who misbehave. To give the performance some extra flair, a student will read a narration part during the performance.

Last year’s concert raised between $200 and $300. With the band continuing to grow, Doe said he hopes the community sees the importance in supporting the young musicians. He encouraged people to do so by checking out the concert and staying for a bite to eat.

“It’s fun to come together as a community around the holidays to listen to music and have a good meal,” Doe said. “It is a real nice chance to come out and hear quality music done by some really good kids.”

For the students, Doe said playing a free community concert teaches them a lesson about the spirit of giving.

“We 100-percent preach community service to kids.” Doe said. “Part of being a musician is giving back to the community you are a part of. It is important to learn to serve before you get paid. That is all part of their growth as people. We don’t build houses or anything for people, but we can give a nice concert for people.”

Tickets can be purchased through any Niles High School band student, by calling (269) 357-3416 or by emailing nilesvikingsbandboosters@gmail.com. 

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