Dr. Reed Gallo
As a child he became interested in musical performance through a strong church music program. He started playing the trumpet in the fifth grade.
These are just a few of the first steps taken by Dr. Reed Gallo, Lander University assistant professor of music, on the road to a career in music performance and music education. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. in Lander's Cultural Center Auditorium, Gallo will stand on the conductor's platform for his first performance at the helm of the Lander Wind Ensemble.
"When I started playing the trumpet, my parents said, 'if you want to play music you're going to take lessons so you can decide if this is really what you want to do,'" said Gallo. "Within a short time I was playing every Sunday at church. I was also in the Youth Orchestra at Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College in northern Ohio."
Along with a passion for music, Gallo also had a strong interest in sports.
"I was interested in both music and golf throughout high school," said Gallo. "I was deciding which route to take for college because I had some scholarship opportunities to play golf, and I had plenty of scholarships for music. In the end, my heart was in playing and teaching music."
Gallo went on to receive a Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from Kent State University in Ohio, a Master of Music in trumpet performance and a special studies certificate in music performance from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
While at Kent State, Gallo got involved in every performance opportunity he could find. "Everything I could get into and was allowed to be a part of, I played in," he said. He also played in professional bands and orchestras throughout Ohio.
After arriving in Philadelphia for graduate school, Gallo jumped into a thriving freelance performance scene.
"Several orchestras in that area use just freelance musicians," said Gallo. "To get to that level you have to be a top player. It would be like Michael Jordan playing basketball, if the NBA consisted of only pick-up games."
After graduating from Temple, Gallo worked toward winning a full-time orchestra job. While vying for an orchestra position, he was also teaching. He taught band at middle- and high-school levels and simultaneously taught adjunct at the college level. But slowly his career path changed. "I discovered that I could have more impact as a teacher," he said.
This realization led to his decision to pursue a doctorate and eventually brought him to his current position as a music professor and band director at Lander.
Gallo, however, has never abandoned his commitment to music as a performer. Since arriving in Greenwood, he said he has been involved in several freelance opportunities, including performing as substitute principle trumpet player for the Anderson Symphony Orchestra and the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, as well as several local performances.
In Greenwood, his first conducting experience was with the orchestra for a production of "Cinderella" at Lander. He will take the Lander stage for the second time when he conducts the Nov. 18 Wind Ensemble concert.
The Lander Wind Ensemble is made up of Lander students, faculty and staff, and community members. The concert will include pieces such as Alfred Reed's "Jubilant Overture," James Hosay's "A Celtic Christmas" and John Philip Sousa's "El Capitan."
Admission for the Nov. 18 concert is free. For information, call the Fine Arts box office at 864-388-8800.