Strongsville Community Band


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.

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 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.

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

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. 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

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

2014-2015 Concerts

Sunday, Dec. 14 at 3:00 Community Band in the Senior Center

Sunday, Feb. 22 at 3:00 in the Senior Center.
Sunday, May 17 at 3:00 in the Senior Center.

Rehearsal Schedule

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

2014-15 Concert Season

Sept. 16, 30
Oct. 14, 28 (note change)
Nov. 11, 25
Dec. 9

Jan. 13, 27
Feb. 3, 17
April 14, 28
May 5, 12

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

Stephen Brasure, Ret. Music Teacher
Alexandra Craciun, Funeral Director
Carolyn Ermlick, Office Manager
Laurie Furtado, Database Administrator
Ellen Hansen-Ellis, BW Con Admin. Asst.
Megan Hanlon
Renee McDermott, Airline Sales Mgr.
Leslie Meadows, Music Thearapist
Marilyn Zoller, Ret. Music Teacher

Sue Keserich, Music Teacher
Katie McGreevy, Music Teacher

Sue Keserich, Music Teacher

Jim Husak, Retired U.S. Air Force
Alison Whitney, Technical Writer

Ann Marie Fuhrmann, Music Teacher

Susan Capuder, CPA
Kathy DeBlasi, Music Teacher
Beth Dier
Lindsey Furtado, CWRU Student
Jody Halley
Marty Kapinski, Editor
Gayle Kish, CSU Music Dept.
Ron Nelson, Database Analyst
Joe Rongone, Ins. Claims Rep.
David Rusnak, Engineer
Tom Seese, Retired
Mike Sherwood, CPA, CFE

Elaine Kubis, St. Joseph & John Teacher

Dick Millard, Retired Music Teacher
Logan Trudgen, Saxophone Teacher

Scott Halley, Engineer

Glenn Bernasek, Retired Tech. & USAR



Ryan Harris, Music Teacher
James Heinrich, President-Instrumentors
Mark Hentosh, Sotware Developer
Mike Garik
Doug Painting, Business Owner
Andrew Sanzotta, Radio Broadcasting
Reinhold Toerek, Engineer
Dennis Tucker, Ret. Bank Executive
James Wonnacott, Retired Music Teacher

Ingrid Askenbeck, Retired Psychotherapist
Jennifer Blazey, Music Teacher
Nancy Bolterstein, Administrative Assistant
Linda Gardner, Ret. Music Teacher
Carl Hartman, Macy's Facility Mgr.
Ann Painting, Substitute Teacher

Peter Dinin, Database Admin.
Dave Hartman, Director of Safety
Ryan Heinrich, VP Instrumentors
Kevin Wenner, Lab Technician

David Betts, Music Teacher
Jack Blazey, Ret. Music Teacher
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
Jim Cornell, Music Teacher
William Currier, Retired Principal
Dan Kelley, Techincal Security Analyist
Darryl Mika, Computer Programmer
Caryn Reynolds, CIM

Leslie Meadows

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

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