Final show in 2019 Herbert Geller concert series tonight


The final concert in the 2019 Herbert Geller Memorial Concert Series takes place on Saturday evening, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Rome Free Academy.

The event features a concert band filled with professional musicians, current and retired music educators, alumni and select RFA band students. 

The Herbert Geller Memorial Scholarship Concert Series was established in May of this past year to honor the memory of the longtime RFA band director who passed away in November of 2017.

The series raises funds to support a scholarship for an RFA senior who plans to major in music after graduation.

All concerts have included free admission, with free will donations to the scholarship fund gratefully accepted at the door or by mail.

The first scholarship(s) will be awarded in June of 2020.

Previous performers on the 2019 concert series have included pianists Jo Ann Geller and Bruce Smith, clarinet players Jeffrey Geller and John Flaver, flautist Meg Geller, and The Onyx and Highland Winds Clarinet Quartets.

All performers, including those on the Nov. 2 concert, are donating their services for the benefit of the scholarship fund.

More information about the Herbert Geller Memorial
Scholarship itself may be obtained by emailing

The Herbert Geller Memorial Tribute Concert on November 2 features a variety of music, including the marches Semper Fidelis, Hall of Fame, King Cotton and The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Jeff Geller, clarinetist and son of Herb Geller, will be the featured soloist on three selections: Concertino by Weber, Canticle by James Curnow and Reunion by Monk Rowe.

The latter, according to the composer, “was written in the late 1970’s for Herb’s groups at RFA, along with a second piece, titled Time is the Longest Distance. 

The two works were originally scored for jazz combo and band; this premier performance of Reunion is for wind ensemble with piano and solo clarinet, and incorporates parts of both pieces, as well as new material, according to the program announcement by event organizers.

Other music on the concert includes Ravel’s Bolero and Clarinet Candy by Leroy Anderson.  

Conducting the concert are John Flaver, Monk Rowe, Lou Turro, Jacob Meiss and Ted Lenio.

Ted Lenio also serves as emcee for the event.

There will be an audio/video retrospective shown before and  during concert intermission containing memories of Herb Geller and the RFA bands of the past.

RFA students performing alongside the professional musicians of the group are Kayleen Martelli, Giana Kleber, David Salce, Alex Linderman, Sarah Hahn, Dale Lisowski, Sven van Hoesel, Alex Zappavigna, Drew Lisowski, Giovanna Sudol and Patrick O’Neil.

Many current or retired Rome-area music educators are also taking part, including Becki Watson, Jennifer Buck Tillotson, Colleen O’Neil, Kristin Kelly-Hahn, Anne Gannon, Christine Labuszewski, Scott Rutledge, Richard DeLutis, Jo Ann Geller, Jake Meiss, and Aaron Decker.

They will be joined by numerous other professional musicians from throughout Central NY. 


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