By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — The tradition growing out of a partnership between the Albion community and the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music and Eastman Community Music School continued Sunday with a holiday concert at the First Presbyterian Church of Albion.
The third-annual Eastman at Albion Courthouse Square concert series Christmas concert brought together familiar faces in the crowd and on multiple stages. The prism concert style put performers in all corners of the historic church and its balcony.
Mitzie Collins and the Stiking Strings Hammered Dulcimer Ensemble of the ECMS provided a selection of carols. Eastman at Albion Coordinator Diane Palmer said Collins has become an important piece of the series.
”This is Mitzie’s third performance,” Palmer said. “We’re building a tradition. We want it to be a tradition, to be part of our culture.”
In between readings and those performances were selections performed by various ensembles from Albion High School.
One of the concert series’ goals is to educate and inspire young musicians through exposure to Eastman’s staff and students. Albion Instrumental Music Director Michael Thaine said the in-class lessons and concerts have been beneficial for his students.
”The opportunity to share the stage with Eastman performers is invaluable for the students,” Thaine said before leading the high school’s brass ensemble in a pre-concert number. “To be able to perform for an audience like this — it’s why we practice and do this. It’s incredibly important.”
The proceeds from the concerts go towards an Albion alumni scholarship fund that has endowed a performing arts scholarship.
In addition to showcasing local student musicians and professional performers, the concert also featured the announcement of the 2013 Eastman at Albion Courthouse Square series. The fourth year of the concert series features two new performers and a new venue.
The series begins March 10 with the Tullamore Celtic Band performing at First Presbyterian. The Roc City Stompers, a New Orleans Jazz band, will perform April 14 at the Holy Family Parish Lyceum. Gibbs & Main, who performed in the first year of the series, will close out the series with a May 19 concert at Holy Family Parish.
Tickets for the 2013 series are on sale at multiple locations in the county. For more information, visit www.eastmanatalbion.