Music & Merriment on Melrose Holiday Event

From print version:

merriment ball…brought to you by the letter “M!” Actually, it’s Osborn School District who’s bringing live music to our streets, and they’ve vowed a variety of vibrations. “We’ve changed it quite a bit this (third) year,” said Amy Swietlik, Merriment’s coordinator and music teacher at Solano Elementary. “We’re going to have a little bit of everything, from student ensembles to a Caribbean steel group.”

No fewer than six adult bands will rotate between three stages along 7th Avenue at Montecito, Glenrosa, and Heatherbrae. Those streets will be closed to cars so guests can meander among 4k illuminarias. Osborn students will also perform, including a trashcan percussion drum ensemble.

There’ll be food trucks, and folks from “The Curve” apartments will offer hot cocoa and hard-hat tours of their new building from 4-6pm. Several merchants will remain open during the event.

“We’ve always had huge support for the arts,” Swietlik said. “We’re looking forward to having a big crowd.” Swietlik said Osborn especially values music. “We realized as (Merriment) grew, that it wasn’t really about raising money,” she said. “It’s about connecting our community to the school district and raising appreciatio


The Community Alliance of Seventh Avenue partnered with Osborn, Phoenix Neighborhood Services, and others to organize the event. Donations will support the Osborn Music Department.


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Those who wish to support Osborn Music may make donations at the event, or visit several merchants who will stay open. They include: Copper Star Coffee, Wag-n’-Wash, The Original Wineburger, Slippery Pig Bikes, Treasure Trove, Phoenix Rising, Melrose Pharmacy, and Restaurant Progress

“It’s a lot easier when you’ve got teams of community members who want to be involved instead of just five music teachers,” Swietlik said. “We’ve always had awesome support for the arts.” Donations will be used to repair or purchase new instruments.

“About one third of our student population participates in music ensemble activities,” Swietlik said. “Expression is such a crucial part of their life.” In addition to enjoyment, Swietlik said teaching music improves both reading and numerical fluency. “It requires communication between the lobes of the brain she said.”

Guests should park on public streets, and be careful not to block driveways.

Swietlik can be reached at