Live Music Planned Tonight at the Reimel Centre

Seasoned musicians performing as String Swing at the Reimel Centre in Montrose On Wednesday evening include Eric Aceto, Wayne Gottlieb, and Chris White.

By Rick Hiduk

(Originally published in the Susquehanna County Independent)

The Reimel Centre in the Church Street Marketplace will take its turn tonight as host venue for the Summer Sessions live music series sponsored by the North Branch Art Trail. Doors open at 5 pm for a concert by String Swing that will begin at 6 pm. Refreshments and beverages will be available to enjoy throughout the show. This is the third live performance offered as part of a 12-week series, the venues for which have been expanded since the series’ inaugural run in 2022.

We wanted to bring talent to the area that most people had never heard before and set it apart from acts that you can see in the area,” said Summer Session founder and key coordinator Dan Tompkins. “We were determined to feature more than just cover bands and locally popular musicians.” The shows are held on Wednesday evenings, he added, “because we didn’t want to go against all the weekend events.”

Tompkins originally brainstormed with Lewis Flynn and Douglas Carter Beane, co-owners of The Old Carter Barn at Lake Carey in Wyoming County. Flynn and Beane have a long association with the New York City theater scene and had the contacts needed to fill last year’s schedule. The weekly concerts proved so popular that space was at a premium for some events. Concurrently, exposure to the relatively new venue increased its popularity to the point that increased bookings there for 2023 meant that some Wednesdays were no longer available.

As the series concluded, we agreed to do it there on the last Wednesday of each month,” Tompkins said of the ongoing partnership with The Old Carter Barn owners. “It provided an opportunity to expand and rotate the Summer Sessions among three venues.”

Week one featured a performance at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock by the Wade Preston Band, the lead singer often referred to as “Broadway’s Piano Man.” The second concert, held at The Old Carter Barn, was a Tribute to the Old Lynn Concert Series, a program focused on folk music and singer/songwriters that ran for 19 years, that served as one of the catalysts for the Summer Sessions. “We hoped to help fill the gap that resulted as that series ended,” Tompkins stated. Tonight’s will be the first of six shows to be held at the Reimel Centre at 158 Church Street, Montrose, which has undergone extensive renovations.

Our vision for the Reimel was evolving at the same time, so changes at the Reimel reflected the direction that we could go together,” said Susan Zellner, who owns the Reimel Centre with her husband Chaz. While a new tile floor was already planned, Zellner credits the additional upgrades to Tompkins’ professional guidance. The stage was enlarged to allow for a backstage area separated by theater-grade curtains. A “green room” was constructed off to the side to provide comfort for musicians. And tables were added to allow for up to 125 people to be seated for each performance. Works created by members of the adjacent Slanted Arts Co-op that are available for purchase adorn the walls.

To further enhance the theater experience, Tompkins and others with similar expertise have solicited local wineries, breweries, bakers, and other food sources to provide a variety of options that compliment those offered by the venue. The Dietrich Theater, for example, has a concessions stand, and Church Street Marketplace has My Cuppa, an onsite cafe that will provide coffee and desserts for concertgoers. Happy Pappy’s Arepas food truck will be in the parking lot. There will be an intermission from 7 to 7:30, after which the show will resume.

String Swing is an Ithaca, NY-based trio that performs jazz standards, gypsy jazz, and original swing tunes. Well-seasoned musicians Wayne Gottlieb, Eric Aceto, and Chris White bring years of performing and coordinating shows in their own right to Montrose for a night sure to provide a unique vibe.

The cool thing is that it’s just strings,” said Tompkins. “The beauty of the Summer Sessions is that we’ve found the audience willing to take a chance on new acts. Even people who said, ‘I don’t like jazz’ found out they did.”

It’s a fabulous performance, and we’re looking forward to the event,” said Zellner, who volunteers on the Summer Sessions committee. In addition to providing something different for local music lovers, she added, the series routinely draws patrons from Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Binghamton, NY, and beyond.

Additional acts scheduled to grace The Reimel Centre stage this year include Fuzzy Park Duo, followed by Mountain Sky Orchestra 2.0 on July 19; Island Hoppers Steel Band on Aug. 2; Daniel Diéguez Diaz, followed by UnityGroup on Aug. 16; Matt Bennick Trio, followed by Pat Marcinko’s Vanishing Point on Aug. 23, and Shade Tree Mechanics, followed by Bryon Rood on Sept. 6. Musicians lined up for the Dietrich Theater yet this year include Brian Crane, followed by Southern Tier Brass on July 12, and JP Williams Twilight Review, followed by Clarence Spady & the Electric City Band on Aug. 9. The Old Carter Barn will serve as hosts for Gary Carl, followed by Brad Simmons on July 26, and Jason P. Yoder, followed by Ekat & Friends Jazz on Aug. 30.

To learn more about the acts and the live music series, interested readers can log on to

Photo by Rick Hiduk

North Branch Art Trail director Dan Tompkins (left) and Reimel Centre co-owner Susan Zellner invite local music lovers to enjoy a live concert on Wednesday evening, July 5, by String Swing, an eclectic all-string jazz ensemble from Binghamton, NY.

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