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 Blase S. Scarnati to Turn Over Musicians' Concert Band Baton at Dec. 4 Concert 

 

SPOTLIGHT

11/14/2005

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

FOR PHOTO OF MR. SCARNATI CLICK HERE

BLASÉ S. SCARNATI TO TURN OVER MUSICIANS’ CONCERT BAND BATON AT DEC. 4 CONCERT

     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Founder and veteran conductor of the Musicians’ Concert Band Blase S. Scarnati will turn over the conducting baton to Jeff Kroner, an original band member and current music teacher with the Butler Area School District, when the 100-member community band presents its final concert of the year Dec. 4.

     Scarnati, professor emeritus of music at Slippery Rock University, formed the band in 1986 with 35 members and has led its membership expansion as it plays before capacity crowds. He has served as principal conductor since the band’s inception and spearheaded the band’s expanded summer concert series at SRU along with its traditional annual holiday concert. This year’s concert is set for 4 p.m. in Miller Auditorium on the SRU campus.

     He was conductor of university bands at SRU, and in addition to conducting assignments at the university, taught jazz history, literature of the musical theater and music history. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his master of music education degree from Duquesne University before undertaking graduate work at Syracuse University. He conducted the SRU Marching Rockets for 25 years and received the SRU President’s Award for Outstanding Service in 1982, before retiring in 1996 with 32 years service. He also holds the Phi Beta Mu, national honorary band fraternity, Outstanding Bandmaster in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania honor and in 2002 served as grand marshal for the SRU Homecoming Parade, an honor bestowed for his dedication and service to students. SRU trustees have named an SRU band rehearsal field in his honor.

     In 2004, he became the third recipient ever presented an honorary lifetime member in the SRU Alumni Association. Scarnati and his wife, Mary, maintain a winter home in Arizona where they will return after the holidays.

     The incoming band director is a 1991 SRU graduate and western Pennsylvania native and a member of the band since its inception. Kroner joined the Butler schools music department in 1993 and was named assistant for the Golden Tornado Marching Band in 1998. He currently teaches guitar and music technology classes at the Butler Intermediate High School where he directs the symphonic and jazz bands. He also helped form the Tornado Big Band which performs for a Big Band Dance and throughout the area. Kroner, who plays saxophone, previously served as guest conductor with the Musicians’ Concert Band.

     The upcoming concert will include a welcome from SRU President Robert M. Smith and presentation of a number of holiday selections, including “Tapestry of Carols,” featuring the 65-voice Holiday Chorus conducted by LaDonna Linamen, a member of the SRU facilities and planning department and active in a number of area musical organizations. The chorus will also be featured in Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” and David Hamilton’s arrangement of “Little Drummer Boy” as well as Handle’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”

     The band will offer Leroy Andersons’ “Sleigh Ride,” “American Overture,” “Precious Lord, Lead Me Home,” and “Winter Dances,” under the “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” theme. Michael C. Formeck, associate conductor will lead the band for “Overture to a Winter Festival,” by James Curnow, and “Golden Friendships,” by Henry Fillmore. The traditional concert will conclude with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” including an audience sing-along.

     The band, composed of community members who use the organization as an outlet for their musical talents, includes a number of music teaches as well as those from numerous other professions who learned to play instruments in high school or college.                                PN, PGN, WPN, PR

EDITOR'S NOTE PHOTO ATTACHED...OR AVAILABLE FROM WWW.SRU.EDU WEB SITE.

MusiciansBandDec05.kes.doc

 

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