WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — On Sunday, the Packard Concert Band kicked off its summer concert series. It’s the first full season back since the pandemic began.

At least 100 people came out to the opening performance for the season and many audience members said they’ve been coming to the series for decades.

The concert began with the Ukrainian National Anthem.

“It’s the full summer, we actually started back from COVID on July 4 of last year,” said Thomas Groth, who’s been a member of the band since 1959.

Groth organizes the summer concert series.

“We’re excited to be playing,” Groth said.

The band was supposed to have new uniforms for this season but supply chain issues caused a delay.

“We have the black ones we’ve had for the past 10 years but we ordered new ones and just having trouble getting the full range of sizes,” he said.

Debbie Cooper from Newton Falls said she and her husband come to as many of the Packard Band’s shows as possible.

“My husband and I are both musicians and we actually went to school with like half of the people in the band, it’s kind of a reunion every time you come out to see everybody,” Cooper said.

But not everyone performing is a familiar face — the summer series features guest soloists like Todd Gaffke, who teaches saxophone at the university of Akron.

“Music can be entertaining. It’s also something that brings together and builds a sense of community, especially when you have an ensemble like this that’s been in the community for a long time,” Gaffke said.

The Summer Concert Series runs until Aug. 21:

  • Sunday, June 19 at 7 p.m.
  • Monday, July 4 at 8 p.m. for the Fourth of July Spectacular with fireworks
  • Sunday, July 10 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 17 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 23 at noon
  • Sunday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 21 7 p.m.