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Lycoming College celebrates music from world’s fairs with Paragon Ragtime Orchestra

Lycoming College celebrates music from world’s fairs with Paragon Ragtime Orchestra

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Lycoming College invites the Williamsport community to a spectacular musical celebration of the legendary world's fairs at a performance of the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra (PRO) on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m., at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport. MEET ME AT THE FAIR!: Music from the Great "World's Fairs" will include musical pieces from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, and the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. General admission tickets are available for $20, and can be purchased by visiting

PRO is the world’s only year-round, professional ensemble re-creating “America’s Original Music” – the syncopated sounds of early musical theater, silent cinema, and vintage dance. The concert is the first public offering resulting from the merger of Lycoming College and the Williamsport Community Concert Association (WCCA), and made possible by the WCCA Endowed Fund. The relationship ensures that the legacy of the WCCA will endure, and that the music department at the College will be augmented and further enriched.

Music played a key role in the success of all these international festivals, launching both hit songs and the illustrious careers of many American musicians, including Scott Joplin and John Philip Sousa. This new PRO program features dozens of stirring world's fair hits from rare, original scores, with the continuous projections of magnificent fairground images. There is audience participation on "Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis," and as a finale, the Orchestra accompanies the “Moving Picture Travelogue,” historic world's fair films by Thomas Edison and company. All is propelled forward with evocative narration by conductor Rick Benjamin.

“Paragon Ragtime Orchestra is going to dazzle with turn-of-the- century orchestra scores that transport the audience back in time,” said William Ciabattari, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the music department at Lycoming College. “Lycoming College will ensure that the legacy of the WCCA endures, and as a result, our music program and the Williamsport community will continue to be enriched through performances such as this.”

The Lycoming College music program offers an enriching curriculum that is bolstered by numerous performance and professional opportunities, and a flexible course structure allows students to design their own path to match their career goals and interests. More information on music for majors and non-majors is available at

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