The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 24, 2013

Concert featuring jazz, Sousa bands

JOHNSTOWN — This concert will bring two bands for the price of none, with free admission for all.

Ringgold Band and Messiah College Jazz Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 18 at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Township.

With the free admission, tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, said Michael Bodolosky, executive director of the arts center.

Seating will be general admission, so no reservations are needed.

“This should be a nice fun evening,” Bodolosky said. “The Ringgold Band is a Sousa band, and they will bring nostalgia. I introduced the jazz ensemble at a (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) convention a couple years ago. They’re one of the top jazz groups in Pennsylvania. Being the jazz guy that I am, I know they have a solid, all-around program.”

Both bands have been selected to perform April 19 in the Erie Convention Center for the PMEA convention.

Ringgold’s program for the convention is called “The Golden Age of the Concert Band” and will include five selections by march king John Philip Sousa.

The historic Ringgold Band is one of America’s first community bands, formed in 1852 as the Independent American Brass Band of Reading.

It changed its name to the Ringgold Artillery Brass Band in 1853.

The band’s diverse concert programs include familiar classics and challenging new works, as well as symphonic overtures, show tunes, solos and a myriad of marches.

Jim Seidel has been the musical director of the Ringgold Band since 1980, making his the longest tenure in the 159-year history of the band.

The Messiah College Jazz Ensemble is the college’s premier instrumental jazz group, performing both on campus and regionally, and is regarded as one of the foremost college jazz ensembles in Pennsylvania and the surrounding region.

The group plays a mixture of styles ranging from classic swing and traditional big band to modern arrangements and funk.

The ensemble’s director, William Stowman, is professor of music and chair of the department of music at Messiah College.

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