Fitch marching band plays for Austintown police officers

The 75 band members set up in front of the Austintown Police Department to perform in front of 13 officers Friday afternoon

The Austintown Fitch marching band performed a concert to thank local police officers.


AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Austintown Fitch marching band performed a thank you concert for police officers Friday afternoon.

The 75 band members set up in front of the Austintown Police Department to perform in front of 13 officers.

“It was just our way of giving back and saying thanks to our men and women of the Austintown Police Department for everything they do in our community, keeping our community safe and keeping our schools safe,” said Band Director Wes O’Conner.

He came up with the idea last week, and two-thirds of the band showed up to participate. Some of the students who played say their fathers are Austintown policemen.

“We love honoring everyone that works for us and the police, they do so much,” Rachel Kielbasa said. “With all the violence going on right now, I think it’s so great they got to hear us play.”

Robert Malizia said that as a military band, the Fitch marching band takes pride in all arms of the military, including police and fire.

The department is appreciative of what the students, and others around Austintown, have done for them. Lieutenant Mark Skowran says “it just hits you in the heart.”

“We know that most of the people in the United States are behind us 100 percent, so that just helps reinforce that for us,” he said.

Officer Lea Byers agrees that the performance was touching.

“Not too many jurisdictions have their local band play something for them.”

Different churches and organizations have also thanked them with lots of baked goods over the past couple of months.

The Fitch band played six songs, stopping occasionally for the director to address the police. Parents and onlookers stood on the outskirts to watch the show, which lasted about 20 minutes.

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