Free PREformances to benefit Geller Scholarships


The Herb Geller Memorial Scholarships Concert Series will premiere its second virtual PREformance of 2021 on Thursday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. “The CenterStage Sessions: A Little Summer Music” features several well-known local instrumentalists and three student scholarship recipients.

The eclectic program includes classical, jazz and Latin selections that were recorded at Center Stage Pianos in New Hartford on June 5. 

Performing in the event are instrumentalists Matthew Donaleski, on piano; Katie Dursi, on viola; Judy Marchione, on bassoon; Colleen O’Neil, on clarinet; Patrick O’Neil, on percussion; Darryl Sleszynski, on soprano saxophone and clarinet; and Alex Zappavigna on trombone.

The free concert will stream indefinitely at Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship Fund and Concert Series at and

This scholarship fundraising event honors Geller, a longtime Rome Free Academy band director, who passed in 2017.

Thus far, five RFA graduating seniors have received $2,750 to assist with their collegiate studies in music at such schools as Berklee, Ithaca, SUNY-Fredonia, and SUNY-Potsdam.

Online scholarship donations may be made at or mailed to
Dr. Jenny Lavesa-Cesana,
Treasurer, P.O. 186, Verona, NY 13478. 

Forthcoming free, live and in-person PREformances include:

A clarinet ensemble at Zion Episcopal Church, on Sept. 25, at 3 p.m.;

“Jeff Geller, Family and Friends,” with music for clarinet, flute and piano at First Presbyterian Church on Oct. 9, at 3 p.m.;’

A four-hands piano concert with Jo Ann Geller and Bruce Smith at Grace Episcopal Church in Utica, date and time to be determined;

This year’s Herb Geller Tribute Band concert, featuring more than 50 of Central New York’s finest instrumentalists, music educators and students, will be at RFA on Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., complying with school district and NYS Dept. of Health pandemic mandates/guidelines.


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