Repasz Band Holiday Concert set for Dec. 10

Hear those holiday bells ringing – Sleigh bells, grandfather clocks chiming, jingle bells, glockenspiels, rolling triangles, the sounds and enchantment of Christmas cheer. So begins Lloyd Conley’s “Frohliche Weinachten” – “Merry Christmas” in a German vein, complete with a lovely repository of traditional German Christmas songs. This work is being offered up this year in loving memory of longtime Williamsport music educator and unique band member Kenny Masterson.

This is only the tip of the musical iceberg in the Repasz Band’s Holiday Concert, which is set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, at The Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.

Other holiday offerings will include Sammy Nestico’s arrangement of “Silent Night,” Randal Alan Bass’s “Gloria,” Stephen Bulla’s “Rhapsody for Hanukkah,” Robert Smith’s “Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus” and Alfred Reed’s “A Christmas Intrada,” with antiphonal brass choirs provided by students from the area’s high schools.

It wouldn’t be a Repasz Band concert without a solid, stirring traditional march or two. This concert will feature John Phillip Sousa’s “Hail To The Spirit of Liberty.” On July 4, 1900, Sousa and his band premiered this march at the formal unveiling of the Lafayette Monument given to France on behalf of America’s children. This march was later used long after Sousa’s passing at the rededication in 1986 of The Statue Of Liberty, a gift of France to the United States. Also in the march genre, the band will present the delightful Spanish-styled march “Gallito,” by Santiago Lope Gonzalo.

The Band will offer a contemplative moment in the quiet and prayerful “Lux Aurumque” (“Golden Light”) by Eric Whitacre, a piece commissioned for the 2005 Texas All-State Band.

The concert will be capped by the monumentally intense and driving orchestral “Danse Bacchanale” from “Samson and Delila” by French composer Camille Saint-Saens. In a masterful transcription for concert band by Kenneth Singleton, the arranger excellently captures the complexity, finesse and captivating power of the original.

Admission to the concert is free of charge. The band is sponsoring a canned food drive to benefit area families. All canned food collected at the concert will go to Sojourner Truth Ministries.

The Repasz Band, in continuous existence since 1831, is under the direction of 40-year veteran director, Albert J. Nacinovich, and assistant director, Jeffrey Dent.

More comprehensive information about the band is available on its website: