Stefan Xhori

Michael KrentzMichael Krentz

Allentown Band to present German music concert for Oktoberfest benefit at Christ Lutheran Church
Friday, October 25, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS Special to The Press in Focus

A day after performing at Miller Symphony Hall, the Allentown Band presents a concert of German music as part of an Oktoberfest celebration at Christ Lutheran Church, Allentown.

“It will be be whole afternoon of music by 19th-century German composers,” says Allentown Band conductor Ronald Demkee. “It will be quite a variety of masterworks.”

The band performs a free concert, 3 p.m. Oct. 27, Christ Lutheran Church, 1245 Hamilton St, Allentown, with a festive Oktoberfest of German food, music and other activities following at 5 p.m. Oct. 27.

Demkee says the concert is a bit unique because one of the highlights is Stefan Xhori performing the violin solo on the second and third movements of Johannes Brahms’ “Violin Concerto in D.”

“It’s not that ordinary for a band to have a violin soloist,” Demkee says.

Xhori is assistant concertmaster of Allentown Symphony Orchestra.

The piece has been arranged by the band’s principal clarinet player Stephen Reisteter.

Xhori also will perform for Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 5.”

Demkee says the concert will spotlight Michael Krentz, Christ Church organist and director of music.

Krentz will play the church’s organ on “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral” from Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” and Charles Marie Widor’s “Toccata from Symphony No. 5.”

“Those are both big powerhouse numbers,” Demkee says.

Reisteter will play the clarinet solo on his own arrangement of “Sinfonia from Cantata 29” by J.S. Bach.

The band also will play the “Egmont Overture” by Ludwig von Beethoven and “Radetsky March” by Johann Strauss Jr.

Demkee says one of the band’s final numbers in the concert will be in memory of three Allentown Band members who have recently died.

The piece is “Allerseelen (“All Souls Day”) by Richard Strauss. All Souls’ Day, which is on Nov. 2, is when those who have died are remembered.

Being honored are Glenn Kressley, percussionist, who died July 29, 2018; William C. Curnow III, trumpet, who died Oct. 24, 2018, and George Kirchner, trumpet, who died April 20, 2019.

After the concert, audience members can stay for the church’s Oktoberfest fundraiser from 5 to 7:30 p.m. which benefits the Restored for Christ Building Fund to renovate the church’s 80-year-old education building.

The event will feature German specialties, homemade cakes, pies, cupcakes and cookies, beverages and a silent auction and basket raffle. There will be more than 50 baskets, as well as gift cards to stores and restaurants. There also will be dancing to deejay Barbara Wentling.

Admission to the Oktoberfest includes food, two beverage tickets and raffle tickets. Tickets:;