The next concert in the Herbert Geller Memorial Scholarship Concert Series is 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at St. John the Baptist Church, and features the Syracuse and Rochester-based Onyx Clarinet Quartet.
The concert is free to attend. Refreshments will follow the performance in the downstairs social area of the church.
Onyx is the musical partnership of Alan Woy, Laurie Dobmeier and Terryann Gerber on B-flat clarinet, and Roxanne Woy on bass clarinet. The Onyx Clarinet Quartet was launched in 2010 with the group’s name centering on the letters “NY” for the musicians’ home bases of Syracuse and Rochester, and for the clarinet’s onyx color. The quartet has developed an eclectic repertoire of classical and popular music, and they have performed at numerous venues across New York state.
Music on the Sept. 22 program includes both classical and popular selections, such as Bach’s Fugue in G minor, “America” from “West Side Story,” and works by composers Luis Bonfa, Patrick Hiketick and Mike Curtis. Arrangements of the songs “Raisins & Almonds” by Lenny Sayers, “Girl from Ipanema,” “Summertime,” and “Oh Lady Be Good” are also on the program, along with the rousing and ever-popular “Flight of the Bumblebee.”
The Herbert Geller Memorial Scholarship Concert Series was established to honor the memory of Mr. Geller, longtime Rome Free Academy band director who passed away in November 2017. The series raises funds to support a scholarship for an RFA senior who plans to major in music after graduation. Freewill donations to the scholarship fund will be accepted at the door or by mail; the first scholarships will be awarded in June.
“The Herbert Geller Memorial Scholarship Committee is very excited to have engaged Onyx Clarinet Quartet for the upcoming concert in its 2019 series of performances,” notes committee member Colleen O’Neil. “As many people in the community know by now, all of the musicians who perform for the series donate their time and talent for this very worthy cause. We are especially pleased to have Rome native and RFA alumnus Terryann Grasso Gerber (RFA ’76) performing with Onyx for her hometown audience.”
Other upcoming concerts in the series include the Highland Winds at 3 p.m. Oct. 20 at Zion Episcopal Church, and the Herbert Geller Memorial Tribute Concert, a gala performance featuring a full concert band of professional musicians, educators and advanced RFA band students 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at RFA. For more information about the series, email email@example.com.
More on the Onyx Quartet:
Laurie Dobmeier retired from the Baldwinsville School District, where she was a middle school band director for 30 years. As a clarinetist she has performed professionally with the Syracuse Symphony, and was a member of the Central Winds Music Educators Wind Ensemble. Her music degrees are from Ithaca College and Syracuse University.
Terryann Gerber taught middle school general music and chorus in the Baldwinsville School District for 31 years. She is a woodwind adjudicator for the New York State School Music Association and was a member of the Central Winds Music Educators Wind Ensemble for more than 20 years. She received a bachelor of music education degree from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and a master’s degree in clarinet performance from Syracuse University.
Alan B. Woy is professor emeritus from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, where he taught clarinet from 1971-2004. He was a member of the Potsdam Woodwind Quintet for 33 years, and principal clarinet with the Orchestra of Northern New York for 30 years. Since 2008 he has served as co-conductor of the Eastman-Rochester New Horizons Bands and the New Horizons Clarinet Choir and teaches clarinet at the Eastman Community Music School. Woy earned a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Colorado in 1979.
Roxanne Woy holds a bachelors and master’s degrees in music education from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam. She taught secondary instrumental music at Norwood Norfolk Central Schools for several years, and additionally taught adjunct clarinet lessons at St. Lawrence University in Canton. She played second clarinet in the Orchestra of Northern New York for 25 years and has also performed with several music educator bands over the years.