The Repasz Band’s imprint is official with state marker

The Repasz Band has been a cultural cornerstone of Williamsport and the region for 186 years.

Now the band has the formal proof that it’s a cultural cornerstone for the state and nation.

Last week a state historical marker celebrating the band’s existence and imprint was unveiled in ceremonies at the Brandon Park Bandshell, where the Repasz Band has performed countless times over the decades.

The marker, with 75 words summarizing the band’s achievements, is the newest of 2,600 markers commemorating Pennsylvania’s history awarded by the state Historical and Museum Commission.

Some of the band’s legacy is attached to nationally historic moments – General Robert E. Lee’s 1865 surrender at Appomattox Courthouse (ending the Civil War) and dedication of President Ulysses S. Grant’s Tomb in 1897.

But locally, the band is known for its perpetual presence.

For all of these 186 years, if there was an event or parade of significance there was a strong likelihood the Repasz Band had a prominent role in the presentation.

And at many of those events, the band played its signature “Repasz Band March.”

The march first performed in 1901 has been played 4 to 5 million times and is considered to be among the 100 best marches ever written.

So the long overdue marker confirms what we in the region have known for years: The Repasz Band is a community treasure on a level few communities possess.

We wish the band 186 more years and beyond.

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