The Volunteers to rock Williamsport

The United States Army is going to rock Williamsport.

The Volunteers, the United States Army’s premiere touring rock band, will perform on stage at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., in a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 28. The Volunteers have entertained national audiences and those around the world since its inception in 1981.

The tour band, which is not your great- grandfather’s Army brass band, entertains audiences of all ages with an exciting blend of popular American music, with an emphasis on rock ‘n’ roll, along with familiar standards that include country, patriotic and jazz, according to Army Master Sgt. Michelle Laska, tour coordinator.

“It’s a different kind of show, that’s for sure,” Laska said. “We always enjoy coming to Williamsport, but this is the first time for the tour band,” she said.

“The United States Army Field Band and the Williamsport Sun-Gazette have had a great relationship and we’re fortunate to have worked with Publisher Bernard A. Oravec to schedule these concerts,” Laska said.

The concert is sponsored by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, the Community Arts Center and the City of Williamsport.

“The Sun-Gazette is very excited to bring this high quality musical group to our area,” Oravec said. “The newspaper has worked closely with the U.S. military in the past to bring musical groups from all branches of the services to Williamsport.

“Over the years, a lot of audiences have heard large brass orchestra ensembles, but this is a great opportunity to see a military band performing rock ‘n’ roll on stage live,” Oravec said.

Oravec said the audiences will be thrilled with the light show and other special effects that accompany the musicians on stage.

This talented group has performed in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Belgium, and Guantanomo Bay, Cuba.

Performances by the Volunteers have included appearances at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Indianapolis 500, and in Nashville.

The band also has appeared at sporting events of the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, and Baltimore Orioles.

And the band regularly performs for senior citizens, youngsters, and wounded soldiers in their tours, reaching out to communities wherever they perform.

It is the recipient of the United States Army’s Community Relations Award of Excellence.

To further that outreach, the Korean War Veterans of Lycoming County were invited to present the Colors at the start of the concert.

Oravec also reached out to City Hall, asking Mayor Gabriel J. Campana for the city’s co-sponsorship and to the Community Arts Center Executive Director Rob Steele regarding the concert.

To get tickets, respond to the advertisement in the Sun-Gazette, which will be printed Friday and Sunday.

Each individual who requests a ticket is permitted up to four tickets for the concert.

“Don’t wait,” Oravec said. “Typically, these types of concerts are quite popular. Add to that each person requesting tickets receives up to four and mix in the quality of this band and unique nature of its performers, and tickets are sure to go out fast.”