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Repasz Band returns to stage with annual spring performance

PHOTO PROVIDED The long-standing Repasz Band will take the Community Arts Center stage at 7:30 p.m. May 24 for its annual spring concert.

Williamsport’s world-famous Repasz Band will present its annual spring concert for free at 7:30 p.m. on May 24 at the Community Arts Center.

After an unusual year involving virus restrictions, practice protocols and an arduous move to a new rehearsal space in Montgomery, the 191-year-old organization is returning to full strength with a robust program offering marches, classics, movie music, a tribute to Ukraine and two pieces by a Mansfield University graduate.

“Including the Ukrainian National Anthem and ‘Kyiv 2022’ is our musical salute to the heroic people of Ukraine,” says Repasz conductor Jeff Dent. “The Kyiv piece is a brand-new composition by Brian Balmages; it not only honors these brave men and women, but also, all funds from the sale of his work support their efforts.”

Along with several selections led by Dent, four pieces will be under the baton of assistant conductors Jessica Lewis and Theo Lentz — the latter returning to Repasz after a brief hiatus out of state.

Lentz will conduct the Sousa march “Gallant Seventh” and a medley from film composer Jerry Goldsmith — covering scores for “Air Force One,” “Rudy,” “First Knight” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which became the theme for TV’s popular “Next Generation” series.

Lewis leads the Spanish march “El Caballero” and the furiously exciting “Dies Irae,” from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem.”

Dent’s pieces include “Gently Flows the Amber Grain” and “Fanfare for the Everyday Super Heroes,” both composed by Brian S. Story, who holds a B.S. and a master’s degree from Mansfield University. Now retired after 40 years of teaching — including a stint in Corning, New York — Story plans to be in attendance for the Repasz show that night.

The program is rounded out by Delibes’ “March and Procession of Bacchus,” “The Star-Spangled Banner” and of course the renowned “Repasz Band March,” with which the ensemble always concludes its concerts.

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