Music hall employees recognized at concert

WARREN – An old-fashioned summer band concert at Packard Music Hall was the outdoor season’s finale and also marked the end of several longtime employees’ careers at the music hall Sunday evening.

Midway through the concert, special appreciation was given to general manager Christopher Stephenson, box office manager Cherie Celedonia and operations coordinator Frank Gill. The three city workers are being reassigned as the city switches management of the Packard Music Hall come September.

“We wish you the best as you continue in your chosen careers,”said Tom Groth, executive director of the W.D Packard Concert Band.

Groth said he thought the last outdoor concert would be a fitting time to recognize the workers and to introduce the new management.

“All three are great people,” he said. “They’ve had the best interest in mind for the hall.”

Groth said Celedonia has always remained active in the children’s theater programs and that as far as maintenance goes “they don’t come any better than Frank.”

Groth said Stephenson did his best in managing the hall with restrictions on approaching outside entertainment. These restrictions are being lifted for the new management.

“Chris had the hall in use just about as many days as humanly possible,” he said.

Stephenson has been working with Packard Music Hall for more than 22 years and said leaving is a bit of a “heartache.” His time at the hall has been smooth and all of the workers have become like family, he said.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to have worked here for the city of Warren,” Stephenson said.”I’ve enjoyed meeting and being around various people throughout the years… It’s always been about the people and relationships.”

Celedonia has worked with the hall for 15 years and Gill, eight years. The city signed a three-year deal in June with JAC Management Group LLC to take over day-to-day operations of the music hall, and city personnel working there will be reassigned. Stephenson said right now he is not sure where they will be placed.