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Trumpet Prodigy Geoffrey Gallante Performance

December 29, 2009 10:08:05 AM PST
Celebrate New Year's Eve at McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage.On Christmas Eve, Geoffrey Gallante waited for Santa to appear; now a week later the 9 year old will be the headliner for a suburban orchestra's New Year's Eve celebration. New Philharmonic kicks-off 2010 with "Viennese Pops with an American Twist," with Music Director and Conductor Kirk Muspratt and featuring melodies from Gallante, the young trumpet sensation and Amanda Majeski ,an internationally renowned soprano opera vocalist. There will be two performances on Dec. 31 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, located at 245 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn.

"Viennese Pops with an American Twist" displays an array of beautiful Strauss waltzes, dance melodies and marches alongside popular Broadway show tunes and love songs. The afternoon performance includes a celebratory glass of champagne. The evening performance will celebrate the News Years countdown over celebratory glasses of champagne and delectable treats.

Prodigy-trumpet player Geoffrey Gallante, an accomplished fourth grader, has performed at the White House and several talk shows, including the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, NBC's "Today Show," CBS' "Early Show" and BBC Radio. The trumpet virtuoso from Alexandria, Virginia first started playing at age four and has played beside U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, U.S. Naval Academy Concert Band, Ridgewood Concert Band, Washington Symphonic Brass and Maynard Ferguson. He has famed trumpeter Winton Marsalis' number on his cell phone.

Soprano vocalist Amanda Majeski is garnering international critical acclaim for her "beautiful voice, affecting musicality" (Washington Post) and "refined power, effortless dynamic control and warm tonal color" (San Francisco Chronicle). Originally from Gurnee, Majeski made her professional operatic debut as Lisa/La Sonnambula with Michigan Opera Theatre. Majeski joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center in the spring of 2009. Majeski is currently pursuing her graduate degree at the Curtis Institute of Music. Majeski was a member of the 2008 Merola Opera Program, where she sang Donna Anna/Don Giovanni. Majeski is a 2007 recipient of a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation and the first prize winner of the 2008 Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition Junior Division. She has received awards from Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Bel Canto Foundation of Rhode Island, Chicago NATS, The Bel Canto Foundation of Chicago and Opera Index.

Tickets to Viennese Pops with an American Twist at 4 p.m. range from $50 for adults, $48 for seniors and $40 for youth. For the 9 p.m. performance, tickets range from $65 for adults, $63 for seniors and $55 for youth. For tickets, call (630) 942-4000 or visit www.atthemac.org

. New Philharmonic's 2010 season continues with Celestial Harp Strings (March 5-6) featuring harpist Kelsey Erdahl and Passionate Piano Strings (April 23-24) with pianist Tanya Bannister.

About New Philharmonic Orchestra
New Philharmonic Orchestra is a fully-professional, 80-member orchestra that has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for three decades. Under the direction of Conductor and Music Director Kirk Muspratt, named a 2006 Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, the group gives innovative treatment to both classic compositions and modern works and strives to make the music accessible to new audiences and youth through a variety of educational efforts. New Philharmonic is the resident orchestra of the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, and performs a complete season annually.

More about Geoffrey Galante
Geoffrey had just turned 4 when he picked up a trumpet for the first time. He was at his grandma's for Thanksgiving dinner, when he found his older brother's trumpet lying on a chair and asked 'What's this?" His mom told him what it was and showed him how to blow it; she had played trumpet herself for back in middle school. Geoffrey blew into it the way mom showed him and out came a big note and it immediately captured Geoff's imagination. He was so tiny at the time--and the trumpet so big in comparison--that he had to sit on the sofa and prop the bell end of the trumpet on his little feet stretched out in front of him!

Within a month, he was playing along to the melody of his favorite Children's gospel songs CD's. Soon after that he began lessons--after half-a-dozen trumpet teachers each told dad "four-year-olds can't play trumpet," "it's a waste of time and money," or some other discouraging remark. What did they know? After just 6 months of lessons -- still just 4 and not even in kindergarten yet-- he showed up at the Fairfax County Summer Band Camp. While the camp was geared for middle and high school students, Geoff auditioned and placed in the top 15 out of 15 trumpet players. He earned a spot in the most advanced ensemble, the symphonic band. When performance day came at the end of camp four weeks later, the Washington Post was there to capture the moment and a front page story appeared in the following morning's edition.

Since then Geoff has performed with: the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble on the steps of the U.S. Capitol; the Washington Symphonic Brass; jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson; the U.S. Naval Academy Concert Band; the Duke Ellington Orchestra and Allentown (PA) Band, America's Oldest Civilian Band. He has played at the White House and the Kennedy Center. Geoff has also played with other trumpet luminaries Phil Driscoll, Arturo Sandoval, Hugh Masekela and Wynton Marsalis.

He has performed the "National Anthem" for about 400,000 sports fans in 14 professional sports venues across the country: 6 NBA arenas, 7 MLB stadiums and 1 NHL arena. About 30,000 fans at the championship game of the Little League World were treated to Geoff's anthem performance last August as well.

Geoff practices his trumpet every day for about an hour, and he is also a talented pianist. He started playing piano at about six years old, two years after beginning his trumpet career. He dutifully practices piano every day, usually combining his trumpet and piano practice, switching back and forth from one to the other.

Geoff has lots of other interests as well. He's a fourth grader who likes school, his teacher and schoolmates. His favorite subject? Recess! And he participates in after school activities including the running club and the chess club. He loves to swim, play Little League baseball, ride his bike and watch TV classics like Andy Griffith Show, Daniel Boone, F Troop, Get Smart, Superman, Simpsons and Flintstones. He also likes playing basketball, card games, reading, creating his own comic strips, writing stories, sword fights, gun fights, snowball fights, pillow fights, and wrestling. (He gets lots of experience at those activities since he has 6 brothers and sisters.

About McAninch Arts Center
The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355, houses three performance spaces, an art gallery and classrooms for the college's academic programming. This unique facility has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and last year welcomed more than 75,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances.

The center offers free parking and group discounts and is home to Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, the New Philharmonic Orchestra and DuPage Opera Theatre. The result is a collection of touring and resident and student groups that foster enlightened education and performance opportunities to encourage artistic expression, promote a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community.

The MAC's extensive community outreach program includes pre-performance lectures, classes with visiting artists and the SchoolStage program, which provides students with an interactive, educational arts experience. Those and other efforts to increase community access to arts earned the MAC the Illinois Arts Council's Partners in Excellence designation, which recognizes 40 of the most significant cultural institutions in the state.

The mission of the McAninch Arts Center is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community.


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