By John Montgomery - Focus Reporter
FOSTORIA, OH - St. Wendelin Catholic Church will offer an early start to Christmas celebrations by hosting a holiday concert by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, Dec. 19.
"Being the Saturday before Christmas, it's a marvelous time for people in the community to get in the Christmas spirit," Frank Kinn said.
"It's a great family event, as well," added his wife, Dolores.
The Kinns are helping organize the event.
Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults, and are available at Reineke Ford, First Federal Bank, Chamber of Commerce, St. Wendelin Parish office on Wood Street and at St. Wendelin Elementary and High Schools. Tickets will also be sold at the door.
Doors open at 7 p.m., with the concert starting a 7:30 p.m.
The concert is first-come, first-served for seating — no reserved seating.
Father Nicholas Weibl said the sanctuary can hold 650 people, but the church has room to expand should more attend.
There's no reason to miss out, Dolores Kinn said.
"It's an opportunity for people to hear a wonderful orchestra without having to travel to Toledo to do it or to pay high prices," she said.
She said the generosity of donors in the community, especially businesses and organizations, have helped keep the ticket prices low.
The symphony has performed at St. Wendelin in the past, but this will be the group's first Christmas concert there.
Tentative plans call for about 40 members of the symphony to perform music ranging from the familiar to the not-so-familiar, from songs with a sedate tempo to those with bouncy ones.
"O Holy Night", "A Most Wonderful Christmas", "Jingle Bells Forever", "Clarinet Candy", "The Polar Express" and "The Night Before Christmas" are just some of the selections slated for the concert. A sing-along is also planned.
Father Weibl said he'd been thinking since his arrival in 2007 about having the group come to St. Wendelin for a Christmas concert after hearing about the orchestra's past concerts.
He called Toledo Symphony Orchestra officials earlier this year and worked out a performance date with the group to add to what he calls the great cultural and musical Christmas offerings provided by Fostoria's churches.
"We realize it's close to Christmas, and that's a plus and a minus for everyone; it's a plus because it gets everyone in the mood, but it's also a minus because it's a busy time for everyone," he said.
"I'm very happy that it's falling together. We're eager to get started and enjoy it," he said. "It'll be a marvelous, marvelous experience."