DOMINIC GRECO BAND
MAKING BEAUTIFUL MUSIC SINCE 1917
to the Dominic Greco Band web site. We are glad you have joined us.
The Band is made up of people from our community, including students, professional educators, musicians, and people from all walks of life. The common denominator for all of these people is a love for band music and the camaraderie shared by musicians everywhere. The Band performs several concerts during the months of May through September. See our concert schedule for details. And please come to our free concerts whenever you can.
(Director Frederick Delphia conducts an outdoor concert at
The Band was honored for its 90th season! See the Honors page for more information.
Every concert brings something new and exciting. Some will include vocalists or instrumental soloists, and many will include special arrangements of great songs done by our own resident arranger, Corey Swinderman. You will have an enjoyable time at all of our concerts, and you will be able to enjoy the great outdoors at the same time. Bring the whole family for a great evening of band music.
Robert E. Lyon
1929 - 2013
BY JOAN WENZEL
In early summer of 1990 I spent a week as the percussion instructor for the Stark County All-Star Band co-directed by Tim DeStefano and Ted Wenger. During that time I was offered a position with the Dover City Schools. Bob Lyon, after 40 years as a music educator, had retired. Dover had a storied band program, and my decision would be an important one in the path of my career. In discussing my opportunity with these good men, Ted simply said, “You know Joan, those are VERY big shoes to fill.” Yes, I did know, and I count myself blessed to have had those shoes by my side for the next twenty-one years of my career. It is from this perspective—as a colleague—that I respectfully submit this memorial of my mentor and dear friend, Bob Lyon.
Robert Edgar Lyon passed away on November 7, 2013. He was born on August 5, 1929 in Uniontown, PA and graduated high school in 1947. Bob’s father, a court stenographer by day, was also a pianist. At the age of 14, Bob began playing with his dad’s band. The group provided entertainment for local establishments (burlesque), and Bob’s task—if necessary—was to quickly put his instrument away and begin passing the drums out the window! These playing experiences led to his early love of jazz and proficient improvisational skills. Following high school, Bob pursued a degree in music education at Westminster College. (His friends soon nicknamed him “Tiger”). He entered college as a clarinetist, but was a skillful “sax man” as well. His time at Westminster refined his intuitive musical gifts. Bob loved to learn, was always curious, and possessed a great ear. Most importantly, his humility enhanced his musicality. During this time he met Nancy Zangrilli, a sociology major/French minor from Wilkinsburg, PA. She became the love of his life! In social company, if the conversation needed to turn away from music for a moment, Nancy would gently nudge him and say, “Dear, that’s enough four/four for now.”
After college, Bob proudly served his country during the Korean War (1951-1954). He was stationed at Fort Lee, VA and played saxophone in the base’s big band. Bob arranged extensively for the ensemble and would later become the director. On June 6, 1953 he and Nancy were married at Westminster. Nancy began a teaching career in Virginia as Bob completed his military commitment. Bob’s initial teaching position (1954) was with the Strasburg-Franklin Schools as music teacher for grades 5-12. His first superior rating (one of many) was with the high school Girls’ Chorus. Bob recognized the potential of this small community and soon developed one of the finest band programs in the state. During this time he received his graduate degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder (1959). As the only director of a small band program, Bob was responsible for developing the musical skills of each student.
Fred Delphia, retired Dover High School Band director, knew Bob well as a friend and colleague. In 1974, he invited Bob to join the staff at Dover: “We on the staff felt we had won the lottery when he joined us. His impact on the performance level of the students was immediate. Bob had the unique ability to play every band instrument as if it were his major instrument in college. The fact that he was able to do that was such a positive learning tool for the students. They were able to hear live what their instrument should sound like, and work at imitating that sound with the tutoring of Bob Lyon.” At Dover Bob continued his artful teaching with the junior high Red and Gray Band, the high school jazz ensemble, and his high school Dixieland combo.
Former OMEA President Steven Stroup added this remembrance: “Bob had a unique way of connecting with all those who knew him. As the new band director at Strasburg-Franklin Schools, my wife Sallie and I had the privilege of getting to know Bob and Nancy. During football games Bob and Nancy babysat our two infant sons. After the games we would sit and talk late into the evenings about all things musical, and about life. I learned so much from Bob and when I became the director of the Dover Band in 1986 I again had the honor of working alongside this master teacher. Bob was a gifted musician and educator. But more than that, he was an amazing human being.”
Bob was a member of the American School Band Directors Association, and was actively involved in OMEA. William Rasey, retired band director from Austintown, commented: “Early in my career I noted that Bob stood to the fore of those in the profession. It was not only a pleasure to hear his bands but to observe his work with the young students. Most of all, Bob valued all students who came under his care. He always adjudicated my students as though they were his own. Through these adjudications Bob had a tremendous influence on my instruction. I will always be grateful for his presence in my life.” The capstone of Bob’s career was his induction into the Ohio Band Director’s Hall of Fame in 1996.
Lyon was a beloved member of the Tuscarawas County community. He shared his
passion for performing and conducting as a member of the Dominic Greco
Band, the Lew Woods Orchestra, and his own big band, Recollections. His career
spanned nearly sixty years; his last students currently play double reeds in the
Dover High School Band. Junior bassoonist Jason Conley shares: “His legacy and
voice will carry on through his students who relish the passion he instilled in
them. He did this in a way we know will never be heard of again.”
is sadly missed by all who knew him. He was a doting husband and a loving father
to Jennifer and Michael. He had great humor and was gracious to a fault.
Fred Delphia captures what is in all of our hearts: “Bob was always a true gentleman, a caring and very humble man. The world is definitely better because of our good friend Bob Lyon.”
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