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Fifth “Pops at Pepper Street” concert set for August 3

By Staff | Jul 31, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Fifth "Pops at Pepper Street" concert set for August 3

MUNCY-Pack your blankets, bring your family, and head out for an evening of priceless music, absolutely free when Muncy Historical Society hosts the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra’s Billtown Brass at the “Pops at Pepper Street” concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3.

As the sun sets, relax, enjoy and share in the fun-filled, community-oriented public experience of this live, outdoor concert starting at 232 Pepper Street, Muncy Creek Township, Muncy.

Some of this year’s program features Seventy-Six Trombones, Over the Rainbow, Amazing Grace, MacArthur Park, Ol’ Man River, and the Armed Services Salute. As always, the concert will honor those who have served with the closing tribute, Stars and Stripes Forever.

In addition to music for all ages, the Muncy Historical Society will provide free popcorn. Come early and support the Muncy Band Association and/or Boy Scout Troop #25 who will both have picnic-fare foods available at their stands..

Parking is available at Muncy High School and on Painter, Buffington and Lincoln Streets. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held indoors, in the Ward Myers Elementary School cafetorium, with on-site parking and street parking nearby.

The Billtown Brass, comprised of Williamsport Symphony Orchestra (WSO) brass and percussion players and friends, was first organized in August of 2000 when the WSO was requested to provide outdoor entertainment for a special event. Cost, logistics and concerns about strings and woodwinds under the hot sun called for an answer that included a smaller ensemble (28 members), easy logistics (everyone except percussion is self-sufficient) and a group that can play in nearly any weather conditions-a brass band in the style of the traditional British brass bands. Since then, the group has become a local favorite known for its eclectic programming which appeals to a broad audience. The repertoire is selected from British brass band standards as well as ballads, big band jazz, classical transcriptions, Broadway and Hollywood favorites, marches and other patriotic gems. Since that performance in 2000, the WSO Billtown Brass has performed several times each year for concerts in Williamsport’s Brandon Park, Lewisburg’s Hufnagle Park, special events and holiday concerts.

Richard Coulter, the ensemble’s founding director, grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and was bitten by the brass band bug while still in high school. After hearing the Salvation Army’s Toronto Staff Band, he joined a youth band sponsored by the Salvation Army in Pittsburgh. While studying Trumpet and Music Education at Carnegie Mellon University, he performed in the brass ensemble directed by world-renowned tubist Philip Catelinet (a protg of England’s famed composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams). The ensemble would regularly read through Catelinet’s compositions that were destined to become the next year’s brass band contest pieces in England.