Klarinet Archive - Posting 001041.txt from 2000/04
Subj: Re: [kl] Community Bands...
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 19:10:31 -0400
In a message dated 00-04-24 09:56:52 EDT, you write:
<< >..... the Williamsport
>Repasz band which is the oldest non-military band in continuous
How old is that? (I presume you mean "in the US", as I"d bet some of the
European bands are ancient, by our standards.) The Bar Harbor Town Band
had been INCORPORATED for 100 years as of summer before last, but no one
seems to know how long it had been around before that. It has played every
year except during WWII. >>
Recently I attended our annual Repasz band banquet where we listened to a
speech on the history of the band...I can give you the following info out of
my membership packet.
>From an article in the Williamsport Sun Gazette:
"Today, the Repasz Band is one of the oldest non-military bands in continuous
existance in the United States. First known as the Williamsport Band, the
band got its start in August 1831 with J.L. Mussina. It's instrumentation
consisted of flutes, clarinets, a piccolo, and only one brass instrument-- a
In 1840, Daniel Repasz became a member of the band. Recognized for his
dynamic musical character, he became a major force behind the band's
transformation into a fine brass band. Their reputation grew and they were
given the honor of accompanying the Pennsylvania delegation to the 1841
Presidential Convention in Baltimore which nominated Henry Clay for President
of the United States.
In 1856, Repasz was elected as the band's fourth director, and, in
gratitude for his dedication and accomplishments, the band members adopted
the name Repasz Band in 1859.
The band provided significant services in its early history
volunteering as a military band. Their most noteworthy occasions are well
documented: as the Eighth Pennsylvania Calvary band performing at Appomattox
during General Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant, alternating
playing patriotic tunes with a Southern band; at the dedication of President
Grant's Tomb in New York City in 1897; as the Band of the 12th Regiment of
the National Guard of Pennsylvania in the inaugural parades of Presidents
Theodore Roosevelt and Howard Taft, and during World War I as a Navy Band
tourying the country for recruiting drives and Libert loan campaigns.
Today, the Repasz Band performs an average of 15 concerts a year.
Williamsport's own Repasz Band has been invited to participate in the
Grant's Tomb Centennial Celebration to be held April 27th in New York City.
The band will perform during the dedication ceremony honoring the 100th
anniversary of the Grant National Memorial, orginally dedicated April 27,
The Repasz Band's early history records two occasions where it
performed in ceremonies for President Ulysses S. Grant.
According to Norman C. Smith, author of "March Music Notes," the band
performed as a military unit during the Civil War at the Appomattox Court
House in Virginia where Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his
army to then Union General Grant; and at the original dedication of President
Grant's Tomb in 1897."
As a side note, The Repasz band march, The Repasz Band March is listed in the
top 100 most recognized bands in the United States.
Hope this helps to clear it up!!
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