The Berks-Mont News (

Hamburg Area High School students perform on Strand’s stage

Evening concert location offered a realistic gig setting

By Lisa Mitchell, The Kutztown Area Patriot

Friday, February 2, 2018

Hamburg Area High School students performed a concert on the Hamburg Strand Theatre stage in front of an audience of family, friends and community members on Jan. 30.

“This was an exciting, first experience performing at the Strand. The Strand and Our Town Foundation were so gracious to host this Small Ensemble Concert,” said Mrs. Angie Dowd, Mrs. Sara Jackson, Mrs. Megan Kline of the Hamburg Area High School Music Department in a written statement to Hamburg Item.

They explained that for the past few years, the High School music department held both a Core Concert and a Small Ensemble Concert. The full Concert Choir, Orchestra and Concert Band perform at the Core Concert which involves more than 100 students. The Small Ensemble Concert features smaller branch groups of the full ensembles, involving approximately 45 students. They were looking for a smaller, more intimate venue that would provide appropriate acoustics for the smaller groups while also hoping to find new ways to connect within the community.

“With the location of the Strand, we were able to achieve both objectives!” they said. “In addition, the Strand provides a more realistic gig feel, similar to a venue at which a professional musician might find themselves. The seats were comfortable, the lighting was intimate, the sound and acoustics were fantastic, and there was the added bonus of being able to purchase soda and popcorn from the concession stand.”

The music department was also happy to partner with Four Twelve coffee shop located next to the Strand. Four Twelve allowed concert-goers to bring a specially designed concert insert to their business on Feb. 1. The coffee shop donated 10 percent of that days’ purchases to the music department.

The Jan. 30 evening concert featured the Show Choir, Ascending Chamber Strings, The Misfit Noise” Boys Barbershop Quartet, Barbershop Chorus, The Fermatas Female Barbershop Quartet, Generation Gap HASD Barbershop Quartet, Aerial Boundaries Select Chamber Singers, and The Hawktones Jazz Ensemble.

Trayton Smith, a tenth grader singer, percussionist and viola player at Hamburg High School reflected on the evening, “I thought it went amazing. The Strand was a good size for our smaller ensembles. I liked that we were able to perform at a fun and local venue.”

All three directors said that they are so proud of the talent and dedication of their music students.

“We look forward to many more exciting performance opportunities in the future.”