Alliance Classical Players Present Pop Concert for Geller Music Fellowships


ROME – Alliance Classical Players and Friends will perform a pop concert in aid of the Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 28 at First Presbyterian Church on West Court Street.

The “PREformance” concert will include several well-known selections, such as “It Don’t Mean a Thing” (Ellington), “Rehab” (Amy Winehouse), “Take Five” (Brubeck), “Mambo” from “West Side Story “, the classic “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, “Yesterday” by the Beatles, three pieces written or arranged by central New York musician Monk Rowe, as well as music by Alec Wilder, George Gershwin, Mozart and Handel.

The Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship was launched in 2019 to honor the memory of Herb Geller, longtime director of the Rome Free Academy group, who passed away in 2017. The first scholarships were awarded in 2020, and to date, the scholarship committee distributed over $2,750 to several college-going music students in FRG. From 2022, the scholarships will also be made available to at least one student from Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School, where Geller taught before RFA.

The members of Alliance Classical Players participating in the concert are: Cornelia Brewster, flute; Janelle Bookhout, oboe; Colleen O’Neil, clarinet; Judy Marchione, bassoon; and Claire McKenney, french horn. They will be joined by pianist Tina Toglia and Bill Thistleton on bass guitar, as well as several 2020 and 2021 Herb Geller Fellowship recipients, all of whom are currently college music majors.

The students, their instruments/voices and the colleges they attend are: Katie Dursi, viola, Ithaca College School of Music; Dale Lisowski, trumpet, SUNY at Fredonia School of Music; Patrick O’Neil, percussion, Berklee College of Music; David Salce, vocals, Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and Alex Zappavigna, trombone and double bass, SUNY at Fredonia School of Music.

The “PREformance” concerts of the Herb Geller Memorial Concert Series are free, one-hour events held throughout the year in the months leading up to the HGMSC Tribute Concert held in November in RFA.

The May 28 performance is supported in part by the Syracuse Sounds of Music Association. Admission is free and donations will be accepted to benefit the Herb Geller Memorial Scholarships. More information about this and other HGMSC events can be found on Facebook by searching Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship Fund and Concert Series.


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