Sippican Festival Band opens up AHA festivities in New Bedford

Dec 9, 2022

NEW BEDFORD — The Sippican School Festival Band took on the big city.

The fifth and sixth grade band opened up holiday festivities at New Bedford’s AHA night with a concert of holiday classics outside the New Bedford Whaling Museum on Thursday, Dec. 8. 

AHA night, which stands for Art, History and Architecture, is a monthly event where cultural organizations, galleries and museums in New Bedford offer fun programs throughout the city.

This month’s theme was “Starry Night,” celebrating the holiday season. 

According to Sippican School music teacher Hannah Moore, the Festival Band has played at the December AHA night for the past “five or six years.”

“They come early and play enthusiastically,” said Lee Heald, director of AHA New Bedford and Mattapoisett resident, who stopped by to enjoy the performance. “It’s a great opportunity for parents and kids to have a stage and a platform. We love having them.”

The kids stood at attention, bundled up in winter coats and Santa hats, waiting for the cue to begin playing. At Moore’s direction they jumped into a rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, followed by Sleigh Ride — complete with a whip crack from the percussion section.

“It’s so much fun. It gets us out of our own community a little bit,” said Moore. “Being here at the whaling museum was the best ever. It sounded so [good].”

This isn’t the only time that the Sippican School Band leaves the Tri-Town. The Festival Band plays at The Great East Music Festival in the summer, said Moore, who added that the opportunity to play music in new environments — and sometimes with new teachers — is important for young musicians.

The Sippican School Band wasn’t the only Tri-Town staple that made an appearance in New Bedford. After the concert children and parents flocked to the Oxford Creamery’s mobile “Oxcart” for sweet treats at New Bedford’s Custom House Square.