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UMC wraps up performance season with tribute to Pink Floyd

The Uptown Music Collective, the area’s premier non-profit school of music, returns to the Community Arts Center in Williamsport on April 29 and 30, to close out the UMC’s 21-22 Performance Season with their presentation of Us and Them: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Beyond. This concert will feature Pink Floyd’s 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon played in its entirety, as well as other hits and deep cuts from the band’s monumental career. Brought to life on stage as only the students of the Collective can, this show is sponsored, in part, through partnerships with Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, Hudock Capital Group and UPMC North Central Pa.

Formed by guitarists/vocalist Syd Barrett in London in 1965, Pink Floyd was originally made up of Rodger Waters (bass), Nick Mason (drums) and Richard Wright (keyboards). Barrett eventually left the band due to deteriorating mental health and was replaced in 1968 by guitarist David Gilmour. Pink Floyd is considered a leading band in the progressive rock genre. Considered one of the bestselling bands of all time, the group sold over 250 million records worldwide, and The Dark Side of the Moon continues to hold the record for longest-charting album, with 962 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Charts.

“Sometime in the late winter of 2004, I pulled the best of my Uptown Music Collective students into the backroom of our first facility above what was then Joanna’s Bakery and assigned them the task of creating a theatrical presentation of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon,” said Dave Brumbaugh, UMC founder and executive director. “The success of the performances that grew out of that meeting and the 65 major performances that have followed it to date are, in a large part, responsible for the UMC’s growth and success. This upcoming Pink Floyd performance is the Collective’s fifth major performance of the band’s music. Their music is an important touchstone for our students and our organization, inspiring today’s students just as much as those in 2004 and always makes for a truly magical performance.”

“The set list for this concert will be taking its cues from Pink Floyd’s 1995 live album, Pulse,” said Jared Mondell, assistant executive director of the Uptown Music Collective. “The album was recorded during The Division Bell Tour in 1994, which was the final concert tour for Floyd and featured the band playing a complete version of The Dark Side of the Moon. In addition, the live album features well-known songs like Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here, as well as deeper catalog cuts like Astronomy Domine.”

Us and Them will feature Collective students who have been diligently preparing for this event for more than two months. Along with the music, there will be a professional-grade light, sound, and video show, organized by the students, themselves. As with all Uptown Music Collective performances, the students are not only the performers, but also the directors of the show. A group of younger students, or “Tech Monkeys,” will serve as stage technicians and spotlight operators. The cast for the show is drawn from the Uptown Music Collective’s much-heralded Special Performance Group 1.

This show is directed by Uptown Music Collective students Jossian Lilley (Loyalsock Township High School) and Luke O’Brien (Loyalsock Township High School). The show’s leadership committee consists of UMC students Leah Batman (Laurel Springs School), Billy Bellino (Danville Area High School), Izzy Butters (Loyalsock Township High School), Abby Colone (Loyalsock Township High School), Chase Cowden (Loyalsock Township High School), Connor Evans (Williamsport Area High School), Ben Feuerstein (Lewisburg Area High School), Gabreon Godin (Williamsport Area High School), Sage Gurski (Danville Area High School) and Stephanie Nappi (PA Cyber).

“I’ve been a fan of Pink Floyd for a while,” O’Brien said. “Naturally, I’m appreciative of the band, but working with the synthesizers and learning the music for this show has given me a new level of appreciation. The amount of work that goes into these songs is amazing and I’m excited to do it justice.”

“I am a massive Pink Floyd fan,” Lilley said. “Their level of emotion and narrative in their music makes the experience go beyond just the music. The very first Collective show I ever watched was the 2013 production of The Wall, so, in a way, I have always felt a connection between myself, the Collective and Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd truly are the roots of the Collective; you can’t even step into the building without seeing its influence, literally. This show is going to be the perfect finale of this season with the Collective, once again, pushing the boundaries of what its shows are capable of.”

Additional partners and sponsors for this performance include Chartwell Hotels, KFC of Williamsport, Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships, The Kiessling Group of Janney Montgomery Scott, UPMC Health Plan, Lycoming College, Woodlands Bank, Marco Technologies, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, FASTSIGNS of Williamsport, Pennsylvania College of Technology, The Brickyard Restaurant and Ale House, The Stonehouse Wood Fired Pizza and Pasteria, Pepsi of Williamsport, The Hartman Group, Java Momma, Inc., and Beiter’s Furniture, Mattress and Appliance. Media sponsors include Backyard Broadcasting, Lamar Advertising, 92.1 WSQV, NorthCentralPa.com, The Graphic Hive and Engage Media.

Tickets for the performance, which are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, are available through the Community Arts Center box office and website. For details about the show, visit uptownmusic.org/pinkfloyd or call 570-329-0888. Check out the Collective’s official Facebook page, as well as other Collective social media outlets, for teasers, previews, behind-the-scenes info and more from the performance.

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