In 1966, Fred Delphia was working as an instructor at a summer music clinic at Ohio University when he learned at the placement office that Dover High was seeking a band director.
After learning of the great musical tradition at Dover, he applied for and became director of the Dover High School Band, a position he held for the next fifteen years. In 1981, he became assistant principal and in 1989, took over the principalship of Dover High School until his retirement in 2000.
Delphia was a clarinet player with the Steubenville Big Red Band during his high school days. After graduation, he attended the U.S. Navy School of Music in Washington D.C., and played four years in the Navy bands. Much of that time he was assigned to the admiral’s ship in the Sixth Fleet, Mediterranean and the Navy Band at Philadelphia. Following his discharge from the Navy, he enrolled at Ohio University with the goal of becoming a high school band director. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education in 1964, and his first teaching job was in Milan, Ohio, where he taught instrumental, vocal, and general music. He later earned his master’s degree from the University of Akron in Music Supervision and Administration.
Highlights of his career as band director included the band’s participation in the J.L. Hudson Thanksgiving Day parade at Detroit in 1969, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at New York City in 1972, the Indianapolis 500 Parade in 1973 and 1975, and the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in 1976, in which the Dover High Concert Band won first place in the division with 30 bands competing. Another point of pride was the band’s record of nine consecutive years of superior ratings at state concert band competition.
Delphia states that probably the greatest honor was having the Dover Band named as Ohio’s representative to the Bicentennial Parade in Washington D.C. on July 3, 1976, and then the next day, the Grand 4th of July Bicentennial Parade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Delphia’s love of music comes naturally as part of his family heritage. His father, the late Alfred Delphia, attended Peabody Conservatory of Music at Baltimore, Maryland. He played trumpet in several big bands, sitting in with the great Glenn Miller Orchestra. His mother, the late Jean Delphia was a gifted violinist, pianist, and organist who attended Geneva College in Pennsylvania. On his mother’s side of the family, a great-great-great uncle, of the family Casanova, was the director of the Army Band of Rome in the late 1800’s. Casanova also performed a special clarinet solo for the queen at the palace sometime late in the century. After the performance, the queen presented him an ivory clarinet with gold keys. “It is my understanding that clarinet still exists in the family in Italy,” Delphia said. He also composed two marches, which are still popular, and being played in Italy today. One of Delphia’s great-great uncles, Joseph Alexandro, was a teacher at the Eastman School of Music in Buffalo, N.Y. He became well known for traveling to various U.S. communities and organizing steel mill bands.
Fred Delphia’s grandparents on his mother’s side came to this country from a small village in Sicily and his grandparents on his father’s side came from a town outside of Rome. Delphia’s name could well be Delfiacco. When his father, Orfeo Delfiacco, entered school in Midland, Pennsylvania, in 1918, he knew little English and had difficulty pronouncing his own name. His own parents could not speak English. So, the school changed his name to Alfred Delphia, and to this day, some of the uncles go by Delfiacco and others by Delphia.
Delphia’s wife Carolyn is a well-known area vocalist. His daughter, Carla Wherley of New Philadelphia, plays oboe in the Greco Band. His other daughter, Dana Levins of Columbus, Ohio, is a former clarinetist in the Greco Band.
Many people have influenced Fred Delphia’s musical career, but he gives the most credit to his late mother, Jean, his high school band director Anthony Violi, and his very close friend, the late George Polce. “These wonderful people were my teachers, and through their guidance and support, gave me the direction to share my love of music with others.”
Steve Stroup received his Bachelor in Music Education from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He completed thirty-four years of teaching retiring in 2010. Most recently he was the band director at Dover High School for twenty-four years. Under his leadership the Dover Band performed at major college bowl games, parades, and professional athletic events, in addition to having performed numerous times at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Stroup taught band, music theory and music appreciation at the high school and assisted with instrumental sectionals at the middle school. Previous to coming to Dover he taught at Green High School, Strasburg High School, McKinley High School, and Lakewood Junior High (Lakewood Colorado).
Stroup served as state President for the Ohio Music Education Association (2002-2004), which boasts over 5,000 active music teachers and collegiate members. He served as President of Da Capo (2009-2010) consisting of all the past presidents of OMEA. In addition he held other positions to include OMEA’s President Elect (2000-2002), State Treasurer (1996-1998), and District 8 President (1994-1996), and served music education as a brass adjudicator and guest conductor for honor bands.
Stroup is an accomplished horn player and has been a member of local orchestras and bands for over thirty years. He was raised in a musical home where both parents were trained musicians and encouraged him to pursue his passion. Now retired, he has been able to once again focus on practicing the horn on a daily basis. He is principal horn of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Dominic Greco Memorial Band. He is now employed as a sales representative for Don Lazar Music Services in Canton, Ohio. Don Lazar has had an active role in instrumental music programs in Ohio by providing the very best in prices, product lines, service a full repair shop and has been in business for over forty years.
Currently Steve is a resident of New Philadelphia where he lives with his wife, Sallie. They have two adult sons, Adam and Aaron. When not playing with the Greco Band, Steve and Sallie like to explore new places in their 1977 MGB.
Corey Swinderman began playing in the Dominic Greco Band in 1973, while a student at Dover High School. He has since found a home with the Dominic Greco Band as the group’s arranger and trumpet soloist.
Crediting many with influencing him during his early years playing trumpet, Corey took private lessons from the late George Polce. He also attributes his mother Virginia Swinderman and high school band director Frederick Delphia for giving him a firm musical foundation.
Corey entered the U.S. Navy and was chosen to be a member of the U.S. Navy Show Band. As the band’s lead trumpeter, musical arranger/composer and assistant show director, Corey toured in over 30 countries throughout South America and Europe for five years. During this time he had the honor of playing back up for Doc Severinsen and arranging music for a show headlined by Bob Hope.
Returning stateside, Corey was part of the U.S. Navy Band stationed in Chicago, Illinois. There he was the lead trumpeter, musical arranger and composer, show producer and public affairs director. In addition to touring the states, the band had the privilege to open for Maynard Ferguson and played back up for Manhattan Transfer.
After 12 years serving in the U.S. Navy, he pursued a career in film and television in California. In Hollywood, Corey worked as a studio musician recording background music for movies and television shows. He also has major roles in the theatrical productions and a role in Miami Vice.
In 1991, Corey returned to Dover. He works full-time at his business, Corey Swinderman Music, where he arranges and composes music, conducts music seminars and band camps and gives private lessons for students throughout the area.
Corey resides in Dover, Ohio with his wife, Ann, and son, Kyle who also performs in the Dominic Greco Band.
Ron Barkett, baritone, received his Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music at Berea, and Teacher Certification from Malone College at Canton. He studied voice with Mel Hakola. He has been a soloist with the Dominic Greco Band since it reformed in 2001, singing many different styles including opera, patriotic, jazz and pop. Ron has performed as baritone soloist with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic many times, as well as the Summit Choral Society of Akron, Franciscan University in Steubenville, Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, and Mount Union College in Alliance. Ron is also a member of the Tubafours, a Tuba quartet that performs in the area.
Since 1983 has been director of choirs at the First United Methodist Church of Dover directing chancel, handbell and brass choirs and a youth praise band. He has directed their annual Sacred Music Festival and teaches private voice lessons there. Ron takes great pride in the fact that several of his former students are currently music educators.
In 2015, Ron’s family business, Barkett Fruit Company merged with Atlantic Foods in Canton. Ron works there in accounting. A life-long resident of Dover, he has three adult children, Anthony, Mark and Maria.