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Elastic Band to play Christmas Eve

WARREN — More than 40 years ago, Warren resident John Vlad started the Elastic Band at First Presbyterian Church in Warren, which performs only once at year at Christmas.

The band, whose members include both adults and children, will perform holiday music 5 p.m. Sunday for the public at the family youth Christmas Eve service at church, 256 Mahoning Ave. NW.

The band meets in the later part of the year to practice and then performs the weekend before Christmas after church members go caroling in the community for homebound congregation members. The second performance is on Christmas Eve.

Melanie Vlad, a member of the band, said the band has been gathering together each December for many years, with some participants having started as children, such as herself at age 10, and now return as adults with their own children.

The group has 20 members, and Melanie Vlad said her father serves as director and founder.

”It is an intergenerational band with members of all ages. It is all volunteer. People either bring their own instruments or we have some here,” she said.

She said Russell Zampino, a band member, planned the program, which includes such songs as “O Come All Ye Faithful,” ”Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” and ”Away in a Manager.”

John Vlad said he is amazed how many people come back to the city and take part in the band

“They are visiting family at the holidays and come to church and play in the band for Christmas Eve. Some are college students back home for the holidays,” said Melanie Vlad.

Jenny Annandono of Warren said “It is a wonderful group to be part of. We all get together and have fun. I is nice to see the children and college students come back and play.”

Annandono said she has been part of the band since fourth grade.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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