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Alliance Classical Players present pops concert for Geller Music Scholarships

Posted 5/22/22

Alliance Classical Players and Friends will present a pops concert to benefit the Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship oat 3 p.m. Saturday, May 28, at the First Presbyterian Church on West Court …

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Alliance Classical Players present pops concert for Geller Music Scholarships

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ROME — Alliance Classical Players and Friends will present a pops concert to benefit the Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship oat 3 p.m. Saturday, May 28, at the 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,” Louis Armstrong’s classic “What a Wonderful World,” “Yesterday” by The Beatles, three pieces written or arranged by Central New York musician Monk Rowe, along with the music of Alec Wilder, George Gershwin, Mozart and Handel. 

The Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship was started in 2019 to honor the memory of Herb Geller, long-time Rome Free Academy band director who passed away in 2017. The first scholarships were awarded in 2020, and to date, the scholarship committee has distributed more than $2,750 to several college-bound music students from RFA. Starting in 2022, the scholarships will be made available to at least one student from Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School, as well, where Geller taught prior to RFA. 

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

The students, their instruments/voice and the colleges they are attending 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, voice, Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and Alex Zappavigna, trombone and string bass, SUNY at Fredonia School of Music. 

The Herb Geller Memorial Concert Series “PREformance” concerts are free, one-hour events held throughout the year in the months leading up to the HGMSC Tribute Concert held in November at 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 on this and other HGMSC events can be found on Facebook by searching Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship Fund and Concert Series. 

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