Four awarded Geller Scholarships


The Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship fund has awarded four $500 scholarships to graduating seniors at Rome Free Academy.

Jo Ann Geller presented the scholarship winners each with a certificate and a $500 check during a socially-distanced ceremony on Thursday, June 25.

Receiving the scholarships named after the RFA educator and student advocate were:

Katherine Dursi, viola, who
will attend Ithaca College to study music performance and education;

Patrick O’Neil, percussion, who will attend the Berklee College of Music to study music performance;

David Salce, voice, who will attend the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam to study music education; and

Alex Zappavigna, trombone, who will attend either Ithaca College or SUNY Fredonia to study music education. 

The Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the memory of the longtime RFA band director and to recognize outstanding graduating RFA students who plan to pursue music as a major in college or at a post secondary school of music.

The Herb Geller Memorial Scholarship Concerts will resume for fundraising purposes as soon as current restrictions allow.

Geller, who died at age 82 in November 2017, graduated from Juilliard School of Music with a degree in clarinet performance.

He served in the Army from 1958-1961 and also performed with the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, The Florida Symphony, The Goldman Band, in Broadway musicals, and toured Africa with The Band of America. 

Geller as the band director at RFA for 20 years. He was the Professor of Clarinet at Harwick College and SUNY Potsdam, and taught music appreciation at MVCC.


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