Lebanon’s historic Perseverance Band warms up for a summer of performances

2 min read185 views and 26 shares Posted April 11, 2019

The 162-year-old Perseverance Band of Lebanon is ready for another year of making history and playing music.

The Band, or the “Perse” as it is affectionately known, comprises around 28 local musicians, who play a variety of musical favorites from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Wayne Fox, who has served as conductor and program organizer since 1979, says that the Band’s musical style has been suitably preserved, with popular overtures and John Philip Sousa marches still a regular part of the program.

Artifacts from the Band’s history on display at the Lebanon County Historical Society. Just a few years after its inception, the entire Band enlisted in the service of the Union Army during the Civil War (in the 93rd Regiment of Lebanon).

The Band is built on a foundation of community, but that doesn’t mean just anyone can join. Band manager Dan Hoover says that members are hand-picked from both Lebanon and surrounding areas, ensuring a high-caliber ensemble.

Flautist Carole Haines adds on, “We only need to hold one rehearsal of the year’s material before we head out and perform.”

Talented students living in the area can sometimes find their way into the Band. Many of the older members have taught in district schools and invite their star pupils. Fox, himself a music instructor in the Cornwall-Lebanon district for decades, notes that being a part of the Band can be a great stepping stone in young musicians’ careers.

A photo of the early-1900s Perseverance Band. (Lebanon County Historical Society)

The band began in 1857 as part of the Lebanon Perseverance Fire Company. Having played yearly since then, the Perseverance Band is one of the oldest continuously-operating community bands in the country.

“It’s an organization we’re all very proud of,” says Fox. “There’s a familial atmosphere when we play, and it’s something the audience can feel too.”

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The Band’s first performance of the year will be held at Cornwall Manor on June 5th. Following this, the rest of the year’s performances are as follows:

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  • Sunday, June 30, 11 West Cherry Street, Palmyra
  • Tuesday, July 16, Spang Crest Manor, Lebanon
  • Sunday, July 21, Church of the Brethren, Mountville
  • Monday, July 29, Stoneridge Retirement Community, Myerstown
  • Wednesday, July 31, 100 N Larkspur Drive, Palmyra
  • Tuesday, August 13, Londonderry Village, Palmyra
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For more information on the performances, including addresses, times, and rain dates, visit the compete listing on the Band’s webpage. If you are interested in booking the Perseverance Band, contact manager Dan Hoover.

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