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Live music keeps area parks lively

August 02, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

WILLIAMSPORT -- If you like music, local parks are aiming to please this summer.

Across the Tri-State area, parks have featured live music ranging from cello rock to bluegrass.

On Saturday night, people streamed into Hagerstown's City Park to see bluegrass band Patent Pending perform in the band shell as part of the Music by the Lake series.

On Sunday, Williamsport got in on the action, showcasing the R.E. Stoner Jr. Family band in the Byron Memorial Park band shell.

The R.E. Stoner Jr. Family band was formed at the beginning of the year and performed at a couple local venues during the Western Maryland Blues Fest at the end of May.

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The rock 'n' roll band -- made up of Eric Kuczynski, Lucas Laws, Tim Weller, Jeb Detrow, Spencer Stottlemyer and Katie Seifarth -- plays cover songs and has been working on its own material, band members said.

"(There's) good stuff in the pipeline," Detrow said as he and fellow band members set up for their act Sunday afternoon.

Williamsport Town Council member Tearza D. Knode has been working to line up musical acts in Byron Memorial Park this year and the R.E. Stoner Jr. Family band was asked if it wanted to perform.

The band got things going with songs like "Maybelline" but changed the pace at times, like when it played a Pink Floyd number.

The performance got a thumbs up from the audience, including Valarie Wolfkill of Williamsport.

Wolfkill said there needs to be more music in the park like there was on Sunday.

Wolfkill said music should be offered on Friday and Saturday nights to give youths in town somewhere to go.

"Because they run the streets in Williamsport," she said.

Wolfkill said Byron Memorial Park is an ideal spot to offer music because entire families can enjoy it. The park is popular with young children and the music that has been offered in the park can be enjoyed by youths and older adults, Wolfkill said.

Even people who preferred other types of music at Sunday's show appreciated the band that was performing.

Glen and Vivian Smoot of Williamsport sat near the back of a crowd of about 30 people watching.

"Sounds good for that kind of band," said Glen Smoot. "I grew up with the bluegrass."

John Ferry of St. James nibbled on a frozen treat as he listened to the music.

Ferry said he prefers country music, but said he is glad music is being offered at the park.

"People should appreciate it," Ferry said.

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