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Arts and Entertainment

April 18, 2014

Spyro Gyra founder to be honored at SUCO event

The Hewitt Pantaleoni Memorial Concert Series, at the State University College at Oneonta, will continue next week with an event honoring composer and pianist Jeremy Wall, who is a member of the music faculty at the college. 

Titled “Jeremy Wall: A Life in Music,” the program will chronicle the life of one of the late 20th century’s most prominent musicians from his childhood on Long Island to his college years in California to his co-founding of the jazz group Spyro Gyra in the mid-1970s to his relationship with SUCO, where he is completing his 12th year of teaching, according to a media release.

Assisting Wall will be Philip Hernandez, star of stage, screen and television and alumnus of the college. Hernandez, who graduated as a theater major in 1982 and returned his alma mater as commencement speaker in 2000, is perhaps best known for his work in “Les Miserables,” having played both of the male leads in that show during its long run of Broadway. In 2003, when he was asked to return to the college to give a musical presentation, it was suggested that he contact Wall to inquire about engaging him as accompanist. According to the release, Hernandez was surprised to know that his favorite composer/pianist from his favorite jazz group had become a member of the faculty two years earlier. The two have been very close friends and frequent music collaborators since. 

Also providing assistance in the program will be SUNY Oneonta faculty members Janet Nepkie and Carleton Clay, performing on cello and trumpet, respectively. Clay is also the producer of the concert.

The program will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the college’s Sanford Auditorium, known as IRC Room No. 3. As with all programs on the Pantaleoni Series, it is free and open to the public, and tickets nor reservations are necessary. The series honors the memory of Hewitt Pantaeloni, who taught at the college for more than 20 years before his death in 1988. It is in its 16th season under the sponsorship of the Catskill Conservatory, with the assistance of the college’s music department. Nearly 200 concerts have been presented during that time.

For more information, call 436-3419.

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