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Uptown Music Collective Set for Southern Rock Tribute at CAC

On March 10 and 11, the Uptown Music Collective & UPMC North Central PA will present Free Bird: A Tribute to Southern Rock at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport, PA. This performance, the third of the Collective’s 22-23 Performance Season, will feature the music of a wide range of classic and more modern southern rock style groups, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, Blackberry Smoke, .38 Special, The Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Black Crows, ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet and more, all performed by some of the best young musicians in the area. This performance is additionally sponsored, in part, through partnerships with Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital and Hudock Capital Group.

Rock music origins rose from the American south in places like Memphis, Tenn., and, although the psychedelic rock and British Invasion of the 1960s shifted the focus to the larger cities of London, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, the music’s heartbeat still resonates most strongly in the rural south. In the ’70s and early ’80s, the South rose again when bands from all over the southern states took over the airwaves with hit songs like Free Bird, Ramblin’ Man, Green Grass and High Tides, Mississippi Queen, Flirtin’ with Disaster, Tush, and Hold on Loosely.

In Free Bird: A Tribute to Southern Rock, the Uptown Music Collective will perform highly crafted versions of some of the most important songs in this style, at the same time unleashing its stable of young guitar players, as they take on the challenge of performing the exciting, iconic guitar solos that helped make this style of music so exciting.

“I grew up listening to and playing along with Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, etc., and as a primarily self-taught guitarist, I learned so much about riffs, phrasing, and putting together a guitar solo through listening to this music,” said Dave Brumbaugh, founder and executive director of the Collective. “Working on this challenging set of songs is going to bring all of these student musicians to a new level, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of putting it all together and teaching this fun and exciting music”

Free Bird will feature Collective students who have been diligently preparing for this event for more than three months. Along with the music, there will be a professional-grade light, sound, and video show, organized by the students, themselves, who will work alongside the professionals at the CAC. As with all Uptown Music Collective performances, the students are not only the performers but also the directors of the show. A group of younger students, or “Tech Monkeys,” will serve as stage technicians and spotlight operators. The cast for the show is drawn from the Uptown Music Collective’s much-heralded “Special Performance Group 1.”

This show is directed by Uptown Music Collective senior students Connor Evans (Williamsport Area High School), Ben Feuerstein (Lewisburg Area High School), and Duncan Larson (Loyalsock Township High School). The show’s leadership committee consists of UMC students Leah Batman (Laurel Springs School), Matthew Bellino (Danville Area High School), Izzy Butters (Loyalsock Township High School), Abby Colone (Loyalsock Township High School), Chase Cowden (Loyalsock Township High School), Gabreon Godin (Williamsport Area High School), Grace Godin (Williamsport Area Middle School), Brendan Kuriga (South Williamsport Area High School), Jossian Lilley (Loyalsock Township High School), Cassidy Lutz (Loyalsock Township High School), Calistra Mahoney (Pennsylvania College of Technology), Stephanie Nappi (PA Cyber), and Luke O’Brien (Loyalsock Township High School).

“I’m really excited about this show,” Larson said. “I think this show, in particular, really lets the guitar players shine. The songs have clean and melodic parts that undoubtedly catch the ear. The whole show will be driving and exciting; certainly not one to miss!”

Additional partners and sponsors for this performance include Chartwell Hotels, KFC of Williamsport, Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships, The Kiessling Group of Janney Montgomery Scott, UPMC Health Plan, Lycoming College, Woodlands Bank, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, FASTSIGNS of Williamsport, Pennsylvania College of Technology, The Brickyard Restaurant and Ale House, The Stonehouse Wood Fired Pizza and Pasteria, The Hartman Group, Beiter’s Furniture, Mattress and Appliance. Media sponsors include Backyard Broadcasting, Lamar Advertising, 92.1 WSQV,, The Graphic Hive and Engage Media.

Tickets for the performance, which are $20 in advance and $25 at the door (plus fees), are available through the Community Arts Center box office, 220 West Fourth St.; website,; and phone, 570-326-2424. In addition to this show, tickets for the remainder of the Collective’s performance season are on sale now at the CAC, as well. Upcoming shows include The Show Must Go On: The Music of Queen on April 28 and 29.

For more details about Free Bird, visit, or call 570-329-0888. Check out the Collective’s official Facebook page, as well as other Collective social media outlets, for teasers, previews, behind-the-scenes info, and more from the performance.

Press Release