Mel Hemperly, owner of Wingenroth Pipe Shop in downtown Lebanon, will be a featured soloist on trumpet with the Lebanon Community Concert Band during its annual spring Meals On Wheels benefit at 7 p.m. Friday, April 17, at the Lebanon Senior Center auditorium, Seventh and Maple streets, Lebanon.
Hemperly will perform Jules Levy's "Grand Russian Fantasia" as part of the musical event being billed as "A Viennese concert."
The program has a European flavor and will include Gabriel Pares' "Veterans March and Antonin Dvorak's "Slavonic Dance No. 8." The band's principal tubist, Ted Weaver, will also be featured on the center's baby grand piano playing Francis Muccigrosso's lovely "Concerto Petite." Jessica Weidman will supply vocals with her skillful renditions of excerpts from Richard Rogers' "Sound of Music" and Victor Herbert's "Italian Street Song." The band will also perform Johannes Hanssen's "Valdres" and Johann Strauss's "Thunder and Lightning Polka," then take a break while Robert "Banjo Bob" Balthaser and Carolyn Peiffer Erdman lead an audience sing-along during the duo's popular "Accordion to My Banjo" segment.
A native of Myerstown and graduate of Elco High School, Hemperly studied trumpet under the tutelages of John Stambaugh, Daniel Maurer, Howard Penchard and Truman Crawford, former conductor of the U.S. Marines Drum & Bugle Corps. Hemperly spent eight years in the latter organization, also known as The Commandant's Own, and has involved himself with the drum and bugle corps genre since 1967. He is a retired police officer and is also retired from the Army National Guard.
Conducted by Timothy Erdman and narrated by Bob Balthaser, the concert is free and open to the public. Donations will be collected during the performance to support the Area Agency on Aging's Meals on Wheels Program.