Anthony H Schietroma Hempfield Area School District Full Circle
Mr Schietroma was public service at its best for Hempfield in 1986 Hempfield elementary band recruited over 300 members a year for Dr Bookers trek to the Rose bowl parade in Pasadena California and as some say, Dr Bookers greatest band was in 1995 the recruits were from the elementary program and manned by fellow teacher Leroy Ferri, who both had big classes of these young and talented musicians but this was out of love and passion for what they believed in and what they strived for musicial education a process of the arts.Leroy Ferri often jokes Tony you been my Priest at Harrolds my partner in crime you gotta pick up that SAX and start playing we need to draft some saxophones players,but according to Mr Ferri after just playing the sax for 5 minutes everyone wanted to play the sax like Mr Schietroma it went from 1 sax to 100.
.However from playing with the Graham Grubb big band which are great musicians who many have that Twin coaches sound of a percision show band.Tony made many appearances with Graham Grubb on the Len Henry radio show LETS DANCE.Len Henry commented what a solo sax playerTony was on tunes such as Ice Castles, Dreamsville,The Mike Hammer theme,skylark and many others.Tony played many years at the Twin Coaches for shows such as Jack Jones,Wayne Newton, Sonny and Cher, Diana Ross and so many others.Tony has recommended many Hempfield teachers such as Lou Ester and Glenn Buzzard at the Twin coaches.These two band directors are very talented in their own right and were great readers for the Jess Wilson band.
In 1957 the former Band Director of East Hunington who actually taught Englishwho died suddenly of a massive heart attack and was being help by BRASS TEACHER Fred Enberhart who taught the field show at nights who was an professional music teacher that actually worked in the factory durning the day. East Hunington needed a music teacher fast Mr Schietroma was called to work at East Hunington school district, now called Southmoreland Mr Nevin the Superintendent told Mr Schietroma I want East Hunington to be put on the Penna map,we are an class B school unknown in the area,but with an contending WPIAL football team and a top marching band this could be possible.Mr Schietroma the reason I hired you was because of your background in working the Washington DC area,Prince George county school district you have that exsperience of working in a big city envoriment,consequently ,which we do not have that here in East Hunington.
Some feel that Tony introduced modern stock charts and drills such as the theme from Zorror which he had Becky King who was dressed in black, as Zorror and rides a black horse which jumps up in the air for a marching band of the 50s it was ahead of its time,most bands played a lot of marches or old school tunes.Actually he introduced the concept of a band memorizing their music when playing a show.Yes Mr Schietroma did make EAST HUNINGTON a household a name,Creating the concept of a modern marching which may been ahead of its time,the band parents at East Hunington were great and supportive,yes FOOTBALL and Band came a long way at East Hunington.
In 1963 Mr Schietroma applied for the Hempfield job it was closer to home,and there was a lot of developement in Hempfield, he beat out over 400 band directors for this job.Mr Schietroma pleased his fans by his strict marching style and his modern charts which won over the crowds who saw the first rediumental bass drum section and a drum corp style cadence and a modern style color guard that first in Westmoreland county.Under Mr Schietroma Hempfield marched in Hempfield area.such as Youngwood, Manor,and other functions in Hempfield he felt Hempfield band was a community function and that is the way it should be.
.Further the marching band won best color guard and band front at the Indianna home comming parade also Hempfield at 1963 was rated second with Greensburg marching band directed by Graham Grubb who first introducted the first IUP show Wilkinsburg Marching band was rated number 1. Moreover Bob Lynch who also did a great job working with the choirs and Orchestra.Bob and Tony worked hard that year,for concert time.The Christmas concert was a great concert for Hempfield featuring great music and singing.
Actually students in the 1963 band who became band directors were Rick Rossi who taught at Latrobe and John Hartzell who taught at Mcguffy high school which both bands won many championships.Therefore in the 80s were one of the top bands in Westmoreland county during 1985 at the HEMPFIELD band festival,in 1963 Rick played in the Stage band playing Bass guitar and John playing trombone and drums in the concert and Stage bands.
In 1968 the students of Mr Schietromas general music class at Harrolds Jr high produced two songs about the Vietnam war Pink carnation and Blue Mist.Actually thiswas a very radicial view of the VIETNAM WAR the tearing apart of the American psyche people who were watching the evening News reports of our Boys being put into BODY BAGS,after many battles with the Vietcong,we were questioning the whole concept of this WAR this brought about many protest in Washington DC and the burning of many DRAFT CARDS to boot.
The story was about a girl whose boy friend was drafted into the Vietnam war and died fighting the Vietcong.The vocals were by Darlene Darcel Skillings these tunes were recorded in Nashville tenn and was pushed by all the radio stations in penna this was a very exciting time. This lead Mr Schietroma and his cousin Atty Dom Crimboli who also represented (Tommy james and the Shonedells) on a trip to New york to meet recording executive Morris Levy.
In the 70s there were many articles of students who Mr Schietroma mentored one article that was dear to him, was the article on John Kelly in his mind this was what teaching is all about this article is mentioned in the Tribune review. After highschool John went on to play at the twin coaches and many jazz combos around the Greensburg area,John was a great and talented player a true artist and a very talented young player.
John Kelley a trombone player who also went on the road and played with Jay and the Americans in the mid 1970s and also played on many broad way shows in Newyork credits Mr Schietroma for helping him meet his goals. Actually John wanted Mr Schietroma to produce his record in Detriot the group was called sanctuary a chicago type jazz rock group with Manyard Ferguson band member Randy Percusell.Although the session went great the tape was great,its one of the reason why Mr Schietroma loves the performing arts the session went well in DETRIOT.
However in 1970 Tony was transfered to a new school Wendover Jr high school and started to build this new band program there his, theme was Jesus Christ Super Star Mr Schietroma arrange a tune for the march and a arrangement for a concert band and also building up an wonderful stage band.The jazz ensemble played at the Westmoreland JR high county band show which was hosted by WendoverJr high.
With his fellow band director Leroy Ferri he introducted the four Bands which was open to anyone who wanted to play above the bar music .The four Jr highs for one day were directed by an music professor from Indianna University, Penn state,or Ohio state or even Seton Hill.This concert band was assembled in 3 days practicing for this final concert to be directed by the incomming Professor of music,who would be directing this concert one night at anyone of the four JR highs Moreover these concerts were also performed at the Greengate mall.
Mr Schietroma And Mr Ferri were good men for Hempfield area and did whatever they could to help the program Hempfield full circle I say it takes a lot to wear many hats doing so many classes to promote the arts yes that is full circle.Yes they serve the district well even being Asst high school band directors to make the program go.
Dr Booker knew his answers of a great marching band were vested in the 60s the old school meets the new since 1985 Hempfield area school district was the master of block band marching Hempfield full circle.Meaning the tradition of a block band practices for major parades were inherited from one Band director to another and improved by each. This is Hempfield area concept of being place in many major parades from one band director to another,yes this is the History of Hempfield area marching band and the best is yet to come……