Sounds of patriotism to echo through Tuscora Park
by Whitney Randolph
The hallways of Dover Middle School erupt with sound as the Dominic Greco Band gears up for their weekly Thursday night rehearsal. Laughter, chatter, and the warming up of instruments fill the air. They are like a large family coming together out of their love for music. Their love of music can be seen through the talent and dedication amongst its members.
Frederick Delphia, director of the Dominic Greco Band, said jokingly that he looks forward to being able to make it through a performance. In all actuality, Delphia looks forward to the weekly rehearsals. “With this caliber of band, I look forward to the rehearsals. We have great rehearsals with a lot of focus,” said Delphia.
As soon as Delphia lifts his hands to start the scale at the beginning of practice, the only sound to be heard is music flowing from the instruments and all eyes are fixed on him.
The band has grown this year, from 75 members to 105 members. Delphia said, “We are fortunate to have gained some really good players. Having these numbers makes for a nicer, bigger, fuller sounding band for the summer.”
Delphia said, “Finding music that is enjoyable for the audience and challenging and enjoyable for the band is one of the biggest challenges. The audience and following of the band has grown so much over the years. The audience expects a lot out of the band and that makes the band work harder. They feed off each other.”
The Tribute to America concert is right around the corner and Delphia has quite a concert in store. To begin the concert, Delphia said, “Starting with Festive Overture is the perfect start for an Independence Day concert. It is very challenging for the band and takes a great amount of technique, which this band has a great amount of technique.”
What would a Dominic Greco Band concert be without having a taste of John Philip Sousa? Delphia said, “I love my Sousa marches, so how appropriate to have Liberty Bell March at the beginning of the concert.”
The band will also be performing music from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which features bluegrass and gospel music. Delphia said that they will also be playing their standard Armed Forces Salute and God Bless The USA.
The icing on the cake will be the performance of the 1812 Overture. “This is an extremely challenging piece and will take a lot of hard work,” said Delphia. It might be challenging, but Delphia has no doubt that this band will be able to handle this beautiful piece of music.
The band has also invited Dr. Joseph Murphy to be their guest soloist on saxophone for this concert. Murphy is a 1987 graduate of New Philadelphia and former student of Cheryl Graham, a former New Philadelphia High School band director and french horn player in the band. He now lives in Wellsboro, Pa., and is a professor of music at Mansfield University. Murphy won the Fulbright Specialist Award in 2010, just one of his many accomplishments. Murphy will be performing Fantasia for Alto Saxophone. Graham said, “This is a very challenging piece.
“It is quite a tribute to our national heritage to have a concert on the Fourth of July. How special we are to have that venue to play in and to play music representative of our country. Whether it is singing a solo or the ensemble playing, it doesn’t matter. The patriotic music is what matters on the Fourth of July,” said Graham.
The Tribute to America concert will be held July 4, at 6:30 p.m., at the Tuscora Park Amphitheater. Stop in and support this fantastic group of musicians as they honor America and stop hearts with their rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever.