Williamsport — proud host of the Little League World Series and recognized as the lumber capital world in the 1800s — also can boast about its musical role in some of the nation’s most memorable events.
One of the oldest civilian bands in the county, members of the Repasz Band enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War. At Appomattox Court House the day of Gen. Lee’s surrender, the Williamsport musicians participated in a battle of the bands, 19th century style, playing the “Star Spangled Banner” and other patriotic airs when Gen. Grant appeared, after which a Confederate Army band played “Dixie” for Lee. The bands went back and forth with the musical pattern as the dramatic day unfolded.
Some other notable appearances in American history:
- The band performed at the original dedication of President Grant’s tomb on April 27, 1897 in New York City.
- It marched in the inaugural parades of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 and William Howard Taft in 1909.
- In 1981, the band played at the White House to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
- The band’s own march was sung by Col. Potter in an episode of M*A*S*H.
Conducted by Al Nacinovich, the band continues its proud traditions and performs 15-20 concerts and parades a year. It rehearses Tuesday nights in Williamsport’s City Hall.
Visit http://www.lycoming.org/repaszband/Main/index.html to learn more about the Repasz Band.