BETHEL – Five bands will perform 19th century brass music Saturday, July 26, at the first annual W.S. Ripley Band Festival at Bethel Historical Society’s Regional History Center.

Appearing will be the Carter Mountain Brass Band from the lake district of New Hampshire, the Newmont Band of the upper Connecticut River of Vermont and New Hampshire, the Centennial Brass Band of Portland, the Mahoosuc Band of Bethel, and the Yankee Brass Band.

The festival honors Winfield Scott Ripley (1839-1924) of Paris, who composed and arranged music for brass bands and orchestras during the Civil War and beyond. The Yankee Brass Band’s performance will feature a number of works by Ripley.

An exhibit highlighting Ripley’s musical career, arranged by Ben B. Conant, curator of the Paris Cape Historical Society, will be on view on the first floor of the Bethel Historical Society’s O’Neil Robinson House.

Admission is free although donations in any amount would be much accepted.

The festival will begin at noon with introductions followed by a discussion of antique brass instruments by Wayne Collier. At 1 p.m., the Centennial Brass Band will perform, followed by the Carter Mountain Brass Band, the Newmont Band and the Mahoosuc Band. There will be a break at 5 p.m. so attendees can eat picnic lunches on the society’s grounds or patronize a restaurant in or around Bethel. At 6:30 p.m., the Yankee Brass Band will perform.

The rain site is the West Parish Congregational Church.

For more information about the society and its activities, call 824-2908 or (800) 824-2910; send an e-mail to [email protected] or log on to

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