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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Local composer’s music brings community together, spreading holiday joy

Brittany Lucia
Downtown Kent’s Christmas tree lit up on Dec. 9, 2023.

Melodic music filled the streets of downtown Kent Saturday night as a part of Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night,” an outdoor musical performance created by attendees. 

Approximately 250 people gathered in the Hometown Bank Plaza with their phones and speakers to celebrate the holidays with the help of music from Phil Kline, who grew up in Stow and now is a composer in New York City. 

Families gathered in downtown Kent on Dec. 9, 2023 for the “Unsilent Night” event. (Brittany Lucia)

Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” is a musical piece broken up into four different tracks. Each individual attending the event downloaded one of the four tracks at the start of the event, in which everyone simultaneously hit play creating a musical sound.

“Everyone’s music is a little bit different,” said Heather Malarcik, the event organizer. “Even though they aren’t playing at the exact same time, it still sounds really cool because of its bell tones and chimes and it’s just a melodic sound.” 

Kline’s intention with the concept of the event was to put the whole musical piece together through the various soundtracks. 

At the plaza, a speaker playing all four tracks stayed stationary in order to accommodate those who were unable to make the walk or those who just wanted to sit and listen to the music. 

“Everybody has to get together with their family and has the obligatory things that they have to do for the holidays,” Malarcik said. “But this is just something that is fun and just gets you out in the fresh air and there’s no demands, it’s just a really relaxing and fun experience and I’m glad we could bring that to Kent.” 

Once everyone started playing their music, the crowd walked for a total of about 45 minutes going down Main Street, turning right on Gougler Avenue, entering the Portage Hike and Bike Trail and heading back to Hometown Bank Plaza down N. Water Street. 

Mike Ardale attended the event with his children, August and Griffin. Ardale heard about the event via email and Facebook, and decided it would be a nice event to bring his family to. 

“I thought it would be more traditional music,” Mike Ardale said. “I was pleasantly surprised that it was something neat and different, it was really unique.” 

Both August and Griffin enjoyed the music during the event and said their favorite part about the path was going through the tunnel and seeing the lights during the beginning of the walk. 

Downtown Kent celebrates the holiday season with festive light displays. (Erin Sullivan)

Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” has never been done before in Kent, which brought many local people, including Chrissy Gharky and Lena Walters, downtown to see what the event was all about. 

“I thought it was fun,” Gharky said. “I saw parts of Kent that I hadn’t seen before just walking around during the evening.” 

Gharky, a music teacher for Bedford City Schools, said she came to the event because the music aspect excited her. 

“It was great seeing friends from the community, saying hi, and catching up with people.” Walters said. 

Walters and Gharky enjoyed the community feel of the event and said next time, it would be a great event to bring their kids to. 

“It was a really good turnout,” Malarcik said. “I’m excited it went so well because we will totally do this again every year.”

Adrianna Quinlan is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Adrianna Quinlan, Reporter
Adrianna is a sophomore journalism major and a general assignment reporter. This is her first semester with Kent Wired. She is excited to write stories that are interesting and important to students. Adrianna is also a Morale Captain for KSU Flashathon and works with first-year students as a Peer Success Mentor.
Contact her at [email protected]
Erin Sullivan, Photographer
Erin is a senior journalism major who works for KentWired. She started her career as a reporter and anchor for TV2 News and a safety reporter for KentWired. Erin now serves as a TV2 reporter and photographer for KentWired. She most enjoys reporting stories that directly impact the residents of Portage County. Contact her at [email protected].

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