WILLIAMSPORT — The Repasz Band hosts the 10th annual Liberty Classic Community Band Festival with a free public concert at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport.
The festival is a gathering and celebration of some of the world’s best concert band music, by committed life-long musicians from across the country and directed by one of the world’s legendary bandmasters.
Under the baton of internationally known and respected veteran bandmaster, Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, USAF Band (retired), the festival band will open its concert with the nationally standard arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner arranged by George Werle. Spit and polish, proud bombast, and throbbing patriotism inform the military marches of this season’s repertoire. Marches include an Air Force salute, Strategic Air Command by Clifton Williams. Also being performed are the Love of Liberty March by Will Scouton and Lewis Saverino’s special salute to women in the United States Marine musical tradition, “March of the Woman Marines.” Classical blockbusters in this year’s concert include Richard Wagner’s “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral” from Wagner’s monumental opera, Lohengrin, and also the robust and delightful confection of the Waltz from Swan Lake by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Also from the operatic tradition, the Overture to “Il Guarany” by Brazilian Antonio Gomes will be included. A second piece from Clifton Williams, Symphonic Dance Number 3, “Fiesta” will “depict the pageantry of traditional Latin American celebrations — street bands, bull fights and bright costumes. Passionate rhythms and vivid tonal sonorities characterize this master work.” And finally, rounding out this magnificent musical journey, the band will perform Floyd Werle’s setting of An Ellington Portrait which includes eight – but by no means all – of his Ellington’s best: “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Mood Indigo,” (his first “hit”), “Azure,” “I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart,” “Solitude,” “Caravan” and “In A Sentimental Mood.”
The Liberty Classic Community Band Festival is hosted by Williamsport’s historic Repasz Band, a community force since 1831. Its purpose is to provide “outstanding musical experiences for dedicated musicians and to enrich the lives of those who share our love for performing the highest quality band literature. The Festival is designed to nurture and promote community appreciation for music, while providing quality music performances for and on behalf of the residents of the City of Williamsport and the surrounding communities.”
The Festival is a three-day event from Oct. 11-13, replete with rehearsals, social occasions, banquet, and a grand public concert. Rehearsals and social occasions will be located at the Genetti Hotel & Suites throughout the event. The Sunday, Oct. 13 concert for this festival is free and open to the public at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., Williamsport.
The event coordinator is area native and retired Williamsport Area School District music teacher, Judith Shellenberger, who is coincidentally not only business manager of the Repasz Band itself, but is also the past president of the global Association of Concert Bands, “the international voice of community bands”. More information about the ACB is available on-line at www.acbands.org. The festival is gratified to have a person of such preeminent scope, exemplary experience, and breadth of knowledge and networking at the helm that has insured the success of this event from its origins.
More information, history, performance schedule, and more on The Repasz Band can be found on its website: www.repaszband.org.