Holly Jolly Countdown

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Saturday, December 2, 2023

7-10 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)

Hopewell High School Auditorium, Hopewell, PA

Enjoy an evening of holiday cheer with local musicians sharing sounds of the season!

Holly Jolly Countdown

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

Saturday, December 2, 2023

7-10 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)

Hopewell High School Auditorium, Hopewell, PA

Enjoy an evening of holiday cheer with local musicians sharing sounds of the season!

The B.F. Jones Memorial Library

The Holly Jolly Christmas Concert and the Artist in Residence (AIR) Program have donated countless instruments to the Hopewell High School music department. No matter what ensemble our students join, AIR has had a helping hand in allowing opportunities to perform. Our jazz band utilizes the drum sets and amplifiers, the concert band plays donated wind and brass instruments, and the choir is accompanied by a professional model piano.

Even the non-performance-based classes like 5th grade general music have benefitted from the program through the purchase of miniature keyboards. The elementary music program has enjoyed learning to play recorders and benefitted from a keyboard, all detonated by the AIR Program. Thanks to AIR, all students can have the gift of music at Hopewell.

The Hopewell Music Program

Kit Keiper, High School Band/Choir Director

Kerry Wilson, Middle School Band Director

Chad Toporski, Middle School Choir Director

Jenn Kobaly, Elementary Music Teacher

Nancy Miller, Elementary Music Teacher & Music Department Chairperson

Dear Friends & Family,

In 2006, I started the Artist in Residence (AIR) Program at Hopewell to expose Hopewell band/music students to world class musicians. In an attempt to retain current students in the Arts and hopefully encourage more to get involved.

This program reaches out to Hopewell Area students from grades four through twelve with positive results.

This year will be the seventh Holly Jolly Christmas Concert. The program is funded solely by donations from individuals and local businesses.

Proceeds from these yearly events have gone to enhance the overall music program in the Hopewell Area school district. The majority of the proceeds are used to buy instruments for those students who otherwise could not afford to buy or rent them. 

I am proud to have partnered with the B.F. Jones Memorial Library to host the Holly Jolly Christmas Concerts. 

I want to sincerely thank everyone who has attended our shows and helped us achieve our goal of helping many children for many years to come.

 

David Bufalini

Event Coordinator

AIR Founder

Who’s Who on Stage

Bailey Taylor

Being the niece of Pittsburgh native and legend, B.E. Taylor, Bailey Taylor was introduced to music at a very young age and fell in love with performing because of him. With having told him right before he went to be with the Lord back in 2016 “I’m going to follow in your footsteps, and make you proud,” Bailey has been doing just that since that day. After graduating high school in 2018, she moved to Nashville to pursue music full time. Since then, she has been writing and releasing her own music and performing out whenever she can. With Country/Pop being her main genre, Bailey also has that “Taylor Christmas love” in her blood. She had always wanted to record a Christmas album in honor of her uncle, and last year, after a few years of it being in the works, Bailey finally released her Debut Christmas album, “Christmas Love.” Filled with 7 Christmas originals and 3 classics, the album is sure to have a song for every emotion you feel during the holiday season.

Bailey is returning to the Holly Jolly stage for the 7th year in a row, and says “each year, it gets better and better.” She’s really looking forward to singing some of her favorite Christmas classics AND a few of her own from “Christmas Love” with such talented musicians who she is blessed to call dear friends.

Her album “Christmas Love” will be sold in the lobby before and after the concert. If you like what you hear, stop on by to pick up your very own Bailey Taylor merch.

Keep up with Bailey at her website, www.baileytaylormusic.com and be sure to follow her on her socials (Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok) @baytaymusic.

Jordan & Sydney Taylor

Music has always been an instrumental part of the Taylor Sisters’ lives, having been surrounded by it since they were little girls, listening and performing on stage with their uncle, B.E. Taylor. The Taylor Sisters loved being a part of the music world so much that they performed at local events throughout their youth. 

“We always enjoyed having the opportunity to sing on stage. Even if it was the National Anthem at an event or show at a festival. Now that we are older and Bailey decided to pursue music as her career, we always look forward to being on stage together. This is our 7th year being a part of the Holly Jolly Holiday Concert, and every year it gets bigger and better. With a great group of talented people and a wide variety of songs, this concert has something for everyone. There isn’t a better feeling than being on stage with people you love, doing something you love. Music will always hold a special place in our hearts and for that, we are blessed to be part of such a special work of art.”

For the Taylor Sisters, Christmas is always the most exciting time of the year, and they hope to spread that joy they feel for the season to you and your loved ones.

Hermie Granati

At the age of three, Hermie Granati began playing piano by ear. In his teens, he teamed with promoter Rich Engler’s band, opening for David Bowie, King Crimson, and Yes. He then joined Coconut, featuring B.E. Taylor. After a songwriting collaboration with Donnie Iris, Hermie was invited to join his legendary chart-topping band The Jaggerz. Next came the Granati Brothers. 

With two major label record deals and two national tours as special guest with Van Halen to their credit, the Granati Brothers were busy recording and touring together steadily into the mid ‘90s. At that time, Hermie reunited with Taylor for an original Christmas show which quickly evolved into an annual tour and national PBS broadcasts. 

He has done countless recording sessions, including two Joe Grushecky CDs. He and Joe performed together with Bruce Springsteen at the Pgh. Flood Aid Concert, He also co-produced The Jaggerz’ last three CD releases. Hermie can be seen in DVDs of Taylor’s Christmas show, which aired nationally on PBS, and the critically acclaimed WQED Tribute to the Beatles featuring his signature version of Oh Darlin. He currently performs with the G-Brothers and The Jaggerz. He is a member of the Beaver Valley Musicians Hall of Fame.

Joe Munroe

As a professional musician for 47 years, Joe Munroe has played with countless bands and is a member of the Beaver Valley Musicians Hall of Fame. In the past four years, his band The Ghost Hounds has opened for Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, Bob Seger, and The Rolling Stones.

Dan Taylor

The brother of B.E. Taylor, Dan Taylor is a great musician in his own right and had appeared with his brother on stage. This will be Dan’s seventh year performing in the Holly Jolly Holiday Concert, this year as a vocalist and percussionist.

Rick Clew

A long-time resident of Moon Twp and 1988 graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Rick Clew has been playing guitar professionally for over 25 years. He is currently rocking with The Gillie Brothers Band in the Pittsburgh area. Rick is a private guitar instructor at Johnstonbaughs Music Center in Plum, PA, and teaches at the Arena Dance Center in Moon, PA. Married for 30 years to his lovely wife Crissy, Rick is a proud father to his beautiful daughter Sarah.

Jim Spears

From Western PA by way of Los Angeles, Jim Spears has performed with a wide array of national and local blues, soul, rock, Americana, and country artists including Dan Bubien & the Delta Struts, Bill Toms & Hard Rain, Williams Honor, Christopher Mark Jones, Danny Gochnour, Jake Mathison, the Stevee Wellons Band, B.E. Taylor Group, Pur Gold, the Midnight Express Band, the Blues Women of Pittsburgh, Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers, Vince Agwada Band, and the Sweaty Betty Blues Band.

Fred Delu

Has enriched local, national, and international entertainers for decades. In Pittsburgh, he’s played with The Igniters, Jimmy Mack and the Music Factory, and Friends, with Frank Czuri, recording for Atlantic Records. He also backed many favorite vocal groups as a backing musician for the Pittsburgh Old Record Collectors’ Club (PORCC). He worked with Billy Price and the Rhythm Kings, and with Pete Hewlett as RCA recording artists Sweet Lightin’, among many others. Nationally, Fred toured with phenomenal blues guitarist Roy Buchanan.

More recently, Fred represented the Western PA Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, and was part of the Nied’s Hotel Band at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village, NY. He also was a keyboardist and musical director at the Blues to Bop Festival in Lugano, Switzerland. As a member of Billy the Kid and the Regulators, Fred placed third in the International Blues Challenge.

Greg McIltrot

A New Castle native, Greg McIltrot has been playing music since a young age and has become a multi-instrument talent ever since. Along with playing drums and percussion, he is a lead singer and also plays guitar, bass, and harmonica. No stranger to the studio, Greg has laid down drum, vocal, and harmonica tracks in various recording venues in and around the Tri-State area along with taking an active part in contributing to co-producing, song arranging, and project marketing.

The Holly Jolly Horn Section

Dave Bufalini

David started playing the trumpet in the fourth grade. His father, Henry, was his first teacher. While attending Hopewell High School, Dave performed in the concert, jazz, and basketball bands and sang in the Jr. and Sr. high choures. He started performing professionally in ninth grade and has since shared the stage and opened for national musicians such as Kenny Neal, Michael Burkes, and Ray Charles, to name a few. David was a member of, Beaver County based blues band, Ego trip, for twelve years. Ego Trip was voted best Blues band in Pittsburgh, 3 years in a row by the Pittsburgh City paper.

As a member of Billy the Kid and the Regulators, the band placed third in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN., in 2014. There were 269 bands from all over the world, in the competition. He is currently a member of Mojo Dia and the Usual Suspects as well as concert bands. As a studio performer, he has worked with numerous artists as they recorded their albums. Dave was an honorary member of the Duquesne Dukes pep band and performed for years at their basketball games.

David is a member of three organizations that perform TAPS for military and first responder funerals on a regular basis and has been performing TAPS since 9th grade. He has performed TAPS at Arlington National Cemetery three times, as well as numerous National cemeteries in PA. Dave has performed TAPS at Gettysburg National cemetery as part of 100 Nights of TAPS, Gettysburg, for the past 8 years. David’s 3 children were members of the Hopewell Area school band program. He is honored and humbled to have been inducted into the Beaver Valley Musicians Hall of Fame in 2018. David resides with his wife, Jane, in Hopewell Township.

David Thanks all of you for attending the Holly Jolly Christmas concert and to all of those that support his efforts to keep the arts alive and well.

His desire is to have the music students at Hopewell have the best resources available to them to thrive, succeed and have fun!!

Jeff Davis

Recently retired from the Choir Director position at Ohio United Presbyterian Church after 14 years, Jeff Davis is a Hopewell High School grad and has been playing sax since the 5th grade. He is currently the saxophonist for local blues band The Reloads and local rock band Mojo Dia and The Usual Suspects. Jeff has worked for Haemonetics for 31 years as an injection- and blow-molding mechanic.

For the Taylor Sisters, Christmas is always the most exciting time of the year, and they hope to spread that joy they feel for the season to you and your loved ones.

Kelsey Steele

A Latin teacher in the Bethel Park School District and former Hopewell Latin teacher, Kelsey Steele has also taught at Westminster College, Beaver Area, and Upper Saint Clair. He continues to work with the Hopewell Area Marching Band as assistant director. Kelsey graduated from Westminster College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. 

He can be found serving as deacon at his home church of Memorial Park Evangelical Presbyterian Church, performing with Mojo Dia and the Usual Suspects, or being a loving husband to his wife. Kelsey is grateful for his chance to perform alongside all the local legends in the Holly Jolly Holiday Concert.

Nick Piecuch

An Ellwood City Native, Nick started on clarinet at an early age, taught by his father, Stan Piechuch JR. who played saxophone in jazz bands at many area colleges and other venues. 

In high school he quickly moved to sax full-time, playing in the Lincoln High School Jazz band, played on his first album with the Westminister College Honors Band, and was the oboist for the school pit orchestra, playing in several musicals. Nick began playing professionally right out of high school, working the Youngstown circuit with Silver Train, then hit the road touring the midwest with show bands Sammy Fidel and Fred Battle and Honesty. 

Back home after a few years, he played with several local bands including; Teazer, Mannequin, and The Shooz.  4 years as sax man for Billy the Kid and the Regulators had him recording on his first CD, winning the 2008 West Virginia Blues Society Competition which sent the band to the international blues competition in Memphis where he performed at the Legendary BB King’s on Beale Street. 

Nick also manages and books venues for the Beatles cover band Gary and the Moondogs featuring his brother Stan and Ellwoodians Chuck Patterson, Scott Patterson, and Gary Fray, and was featured on 2 CD’s with their original venture, Live @ Stan’s along with Dave Bufalini and Joe Munroe, recording at Studio Joe in Monaca.  

A member of the 2015 “Beaver County Rockers” Nick can now be seen playing local venues with Joe Garuccio’s “Groove Doctors” occasional guest appearances with the Grantis and most recently as the newest member of the Beaver County powerhouse band Mojodia and The Unusual Suspects. Nick is a Brighton Township resident.

Special Guest Appearances by

Rick Witkowski

Guitarist, songwriter, producer, movie and tv music scorer, recording engineer, and studio owner — Rick Witkowski is a man of many talents and accomplishments. Nationally he is known for his scores for the Oscar-winning film Inocente, and multiple Nickelodeon and VH1 shows. In the Pittsburgh Tri-State area, Rick is known to thousands of music fans for his annual energetic performances at the B.E. Taylor Christmas shows at Heinz Hall and other regional venues. 

He is also known nationally as a guitarist and songwriter with the band Crack the Sky. His work as a songwriter began with the Crack the Sky album Safety in Numbers. As a recording engineer, Rick has produced sessions with Bruce Springsteen, Joe Grushechy, The Clarks, Donnie Iris, B.E. Taylor, singer-comedian Mark Eddie, and more.

Ashley Marina

Ashley Marina, a multifaceted young talent from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, this singer-songwriter’s appearance on NBC’s America’s Got Talent Season 15 as a 12-year-old in 2020 trended at #5 worldwide on YouTube and is one of the most viewed AGT videos of all-time.  She is a Spotify and Facebook verified artist with 23 original song releases to date including major radio play and five #1 singles1.  Ashley’s “You’ll Always Be My Hero” was named on Billboard’s “Best Original Songs Ever Performed on AGT” and Talent Recap’s “Top 10 Emotional Tributes of All-Time” and has garnered 100+ million streams across platforms. Ashley’s cover of “Talking to the Moon” has accumulated 2+ billion streams across platforms capturing the attention of Universal Music Group (UMG) through its division U-NXT to sign an exclusive distribution deal.  Her accolades include being named the 2022 Women Who Rock Rising Star, 2021 She Wolf Radio Ones 2 Watch Future Star, and 2020 MÓB Radio Artist of the Year and The FAB Chart Female Artist of the Year Runner Up worldwide, TalentWatch Dream Night Champion, National Talent America Tri Star Award Winner and three-time Williams SING-OFF Finalist.  She has been featured on television such as ABC7 New York, CBS Pittsburgh New Year’s Eve Highmark First Night, KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live, WPXI’s See & Be Seen, 6 in the Mix South Florida, The Morning Show Jacksonville and in many media outlets like the Huffington Post, ET Canada, iHeart Radio, FRUDY, Super Power Kids, EXTRA ORDINARY KIDS, Stars 2 come and international radio networks.  She has performed on stages such as New York City’s Apollo Theater, Disney World, opened for Platinum Recording Artist and American Idol Winner Jordin Sparks and NBC’s The Voice Finalist “Christmas with Chris Jamison”, CMA Fest Nashville Spotlight Showcase, Cedar Point, Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, D2D Destiny Foundation “We Are The World” Mini Concert as the United States Representative, Three Rivers Arts Festival, WYEP Radio Summer Music Festival, Harlem Globetrotters World Tour halftime show, Opry Mills Nashville, opening ceremony for the world’s 1st BRICK makerspace by LEGO, WPXI Holiday Parade and is a regular National Anthem singer for professional sporting events including NFL Football, Major League Baseball, USL Professional Soccer, West Virginia Derby, and Championship Boxing.  Ashley’s other talents include instruments (piano, guitar, and ukulele), dancing (Abby Lee Dance Company and Millennium Dance Complex), acting, and modeling.  As an actress she was cast in lead roles in Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center’s productions of Disney’s “Frozen” as Young Anna and as Savannah in “Freaky Friday” and appeared in the Netflix Series “Mindhunter” and Sony Pictures “Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff Story”. Ashley is a High Honor Roll student at the #1 rated performing arts school in Western Pennsylvania, a member of the National Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society, and a Berklee College of Music Aspire scholarship recipient.

The Hopewell Viking Marching Band Drum Line

Bayley Carmichael
Suzanna DePace
Zachary Hughes
Danica Jackson
Brayden Mowry
Marlee Page
Lila Rager
Alexander Schwartz
Xander Tirado
Nola Watters
Carter Weber
Matthew Yeager

The Hopewell High School Chorus

  • Ella Goodrum
  • Hayley Gruber
  • Milena Harding
  • Emily Hareza
  • Bree Jones
  • Peyton Kazmarski
  • Gianna Lorenz
  • Kristina Lucas
  • Katherine Martin
  • Amelia McCloskey
  • Hazel McCowin
  • Kaitlin Moskes
  • Troy Palochak
  • Lily Parish
  • Gwen Pashuta
  • Isabella Pawlo
  • Patrica Peroni
  • Adam Pflugh
  • Gregory Bailes
  • Nolan Barnabi
  • Sharon Beggarly
  • Ella Biskup
  • Katelyn Biskup
  • Kiersten Bruce
  • Emily Butcher
  • Rowan Byers
  • Summer Chalmers
  • Krysten Clary
  • Kaylee Collins
  • Aubrey Cumpston
  • Emilee Cutter
  • Katherine Davis
  • Katharyn Dupree
  • Madisyn Fortunato
  • Ann Claire Fueller
  • Jalise Gary
  • James Pistorius
  • Kahyli Powell
  • Autumn Roberts
  • Claire Sarkis
  • Alexander Schwartz
  • Annabeth Sembower
  • Sarah Shelton
  • Christopher Shiel
  • Rachel Skelly-Rump
  • Jacob Sourwine
  • Noah Testore
  • Paul Thompson
  • Vanessa Tirado
  • Aiden Trasp
  • Luke Ujhazy
  • Lily Weber
  • Brenden Weidaw
  • Katie Welch
  • Kaylee Wiley
  • Kylie Zito

Don’t wait until the night of the show. 

Get your Holly Jolly Christmas Concert tickets now before they’re gone!

 

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