‘ Repasz Band March ’ has international popularity

By DANA BORICK dborick@sungazette.com

When the Repasz Band first began playing its “Repasz Band March” more than 100 years ago, current members never realized the song would gain popularity 8,800 miles around the world in Sri Lanka.

But in late 2009, Albert Nacinovich, director of the Repasz Band, received an e-mail from Jude Goonewardane, a Sri Lankan who lives in the United Kingdom, that explained just how popular the band’s “March” is in that country.

In that e-mail, Goonewardane said he stumbled upon the Repasz Band Web site while researching music on the Internet. The Repasz Band is one of the oldest community bands in the United States and has been in existence since 1831, according to the band’s Web site.

Repasz-Band-March

The Repasz Band is one of the oldest community bands in the United States and has been in existence since 1831, according to the band’s Web site.

“We Sri Lankans have a very strong connection to the ‘Repasz Band March,’ ” Goonewardane wrote. “Ceylon was a Portuguese colony in the 1600s, and one of the greatest gifts that Portuguese left behind is their dance music, amongst other things … the result was superb dance rhythms and beats that adapted 6/8 beat. Their music is called ‘Kaffrinha’.”

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