Repasz Band keeps on going, has many shows planned this summer
The Repasz Band has a history dating back to 1831, and shows no plans of stopping anytime soon.
Today, the Repasz Band is known as the community band of Williamsport. The group performs at patriotic and civic celebrations, the Little League World Series, hospitals and nursing homes, and annual holiday and spring concerts.
Conductor Albert Nacinovich has been apart of the band since 1970, and is the longest-serving director in its history. Along with Nacinovich, the conducting duties are shared with Associate Director Jeffry Dent and Assistant Director Jessica Lewis.
The band rehearses for two hours once per week in the Sechler Community Room in Williamsport’s City Hall.
When asked what difficulties the band faces, Nacinovich said, “A recurring challenge is to find music that will be enjoyable and challenging for the members to play, and accessible and enjoyable for our eventual audiences.”
Dent added that there are “numerous challenges” the band faces.
“We are a total volunteer organization, relying on donations from concert sponsors and our generous fans,” said Dent. “Funding a year of concerts is an expensive task. Concert music has become expensive, often $75-$100 per piece of music we purchase. We have transportation costs for our equipment through the summer as well.”
Even in light of those challenges, both Nacinovich and Dent think the Repasz Band is a growing success, as it is continuing to increase in size and quality. Today, the group has more than 70 members from eight different counties.
“I enjoy working with Al and Jessica, programming for our concerts. Developing a concert is like putting together a puzzle of musical ideas,” said Dent. “We try to include marches, of course. We also include contemporary works, traditional works and band classics.
“We also play something that would be familiar to various age groups in our audience,” he added. “Jazz, dance, Broadway/movie music and ethnic music works into many of our programs.”
Nacinovich enjoys the experience of taking music and making it performance ready.
“My single biggest thrill as conductor occurred in 2015, when I was privileged to lead the band in the playing of the Star Spangled Banner as part of the opening ceremony of the 150th Anniversary of General Lee’s Surrender at Appomattox, Virginia, which led to the end of the Civil War,” Nacinovich said. “This honor came to us because our members, serving in the Union Army, had played it there in 1865.”
The Repasz Band will be preparing for at least six different performances throughout the months of June and July. Those shows include:
June 22 — Mid Penn Band Festival,West Milton (7:00 p.m.)
June 25 — Kramm Healthcare, Milton (7:00 p.m.)
June 30 — Brandon Park, Williamsport (7:00 p.m.)
July 4 — Eagles Mere Green, Eagles Mere (5:00 p.m.)
July 9 — Muncy Valley Hospital, Muncy (5:30 p.m.)
July 23 — Williamsport Home, Williamsport (6:30 p.m.)