The Fulton Music Association’s 17th Annual Celebration of Community Music featuring the Fulton Community Band and a variety of local talent will be presented on Saturday, May 17, 7:00 p.m., at the G. Ray Bodley High School (GRB) Auditorium, with guest conductor, Richard Swierczek, former Fulton Schools Director of Music, it was announced by Steve Chirello, FMA president. The 2014 FMA senior music awards will also be announced at this event and each recipient will perform. Admission is free.
The concert will feature performances by: the Jeff Sawyer Trio, the Fulton Community Band under the direction of Carol Fox, and the Hamer Sing-Along group. The Jeff Sawyer trio includes Sawyer on keyboards, Rick Bush on guitar, and Joe Cortini on drums. The community band will be performing Chimes of Liberty, Rushmore, and a Salute to Bob Hope. Swierczek will conduct Silver Quill, Galop, and Salvation is Created. Chirello will perform the solo, “Reflective Mood,” written for trombone and concert band by Sammy Nestico.
“All concert participants are generously donating their time to help raise funds for FMA,” Chirello said. “In addition to helping high school students receive FMA awards this spring, FMA members will continue to help sponsor Fulton’s summer concert series, and bring special performances by the U.S Army’s 10th Mountain Div. Band right here to Fulton.
Swierczek, who resides in Chatham, MA, on Cape Cod, received FMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and has been an active member of Fulton’s music community for many years. He is also president of the Polish Society of Cape Cod and the Islands. Highlights of his achievements in Fulton include:
- Graduate of Fulton high School 1943
- Music teacher, Fulton City School District 1954- 1983
- Director of Music, Fulton Schools 1970- 1983
- New York State Chairperson for Music In Our Schools
- New York State School Music Association Zone 4 Representative
- New York State Chairperson for Music In the Community
- Fulton Community Theater Musical Director
- Organized and Directed Fulton Men’s Chorus, Mixed Chorus & Women’s Chorus
- President of Oswego County Music Teachers’ Association
- Fulton Rotary Community Service Award recipient
In addition to the accomplishments listed, in the summer of 1972, Swierczek was invited to and attended the 1st International Band Festival in Vienna, Austria, with the GRB Band earning a ‘Superior’ Rating from three international judges.
Swierczek was also involved in all facets of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA). Through the years his students competed in everything from solo to large ensemble competitions. These efforts were so successful, he said, “the publicity gained from our high competitive scores and students being selected for Area All-State, All-State and Eastern Divisions of NYSSMA further strengthened both public support and student interest in Fulton music.” Swierczek also served NYSSMA as guest conductor at several All-County and Area All-State Festivals, both as band director and choral director.
Swierczek’s involvement was not, however, limited to school music pursuits. In 1958, he and his good friend, Jack Walsh, a well-known Fultonian tenor, started the Fulton Men’s Chorus. “In the following year, we won first place at a competition in Utica. “ In its 15-year existence, the Fulton Men’s Chorus “maxed out” at 70 members, he said. It also led to the development of the Fulton Women’s Chorus and the Fulton Mixed Chorus.
For further information, call Carol Fox at 591-3392 or Chirello at 592-9778.