Carleton Waite Brush
Carleton Waite Brush was born May 1, 1900 in Rome. He graduated from Rome Free Academy.
At age seventeen, he enrolled in the Utica Conservatory of Music where he received certification as a violin teacher in 1922. The same year, Carleton married Nellie D. Henderson and had two children, Arthur and Fredericka.
Bush toured the East Coast with the Fuller Orchestra during the Depression era. In Rome, he played in the Strand Theatre pit orchestra. He also performed with several local groups including Joe Kahler’s Band, the Revere Band and the Old Timers Band of Boonville.
A versatile musician, he taught himself to play the saxophone, trombone, accordion, and viola; but when he discovered the organ, his passion was set. Carleton, a talented musician arranged and transposed music easily and had an extremely large repertoire of organ music which he usually performed from memory to the delight of Capitol Theatre movie audiences.
In the mid 1960’s, Carleton was one of the principal champions in the project to save and restore the 1928 Möller theatre organ at Rome’s Capitol Theatre. He went on to become the Capitol’s house organist for the next 20 years. He especially enjoyed playing before shows and movies and never failed to amaze and entertain audiences with the organ’s many novelty effects. Before his death in 1988, the organ was personally dedicated to him when the Capitol re-opened as a performing arts center in 1985.
Emilie W. Hayes
Emilie West Hayes was born in Utica in 1919. Some of her fondest childhood memories include writing and performing plays with her two sisters inspired by the characters in “Little Women”.
Emilie graduated from Utica Free Academy in 1934. At UFA she appeared on stage in the senior class play, her first theatrical production. She worked at Utica Mutual Insurance and acted in radio dramas for Utica stations before moving to Rome with her husband in 1940. While managing a household for her husband and two daughters, Emilie held positions in several local businesses as secretary and bookkeeper. She earned an insurance agent’s license and a notary public designation.
In 1950, a friend suggested Emilie audition for a part in “Born Yesterday” which was to be staged by the Rome Civic Theater in a theater on East Dominick Street. Emilie was successful in that audition and also became a member of the organization. In 1953 The Rome Theater Guild and the Rome Civic Theater merged to form The Rome Community Theater. The first production of the newly formed organization (RCT) was “Light Up The Sky”, staged in October in the Rome Free Academy auditorium on Turin Street. Emilie was a member of that cast and for the next fifty plus years, she supported RCT productions and operations in numerous capacities on stage, back stage, in the front of the house and on the board of trustees where she held the office of president. As a representative for district six (Central New York), Emilie also worked with the Theater Association of New York State. Additionally, Emilie appeared on stage in several Players of Utica productions.
In addition to her full schedule of RCT activities, Emilie provided service to the Rome community as a volunteer with the Rome Historical Society, the Rome Art and Community Center, the Rome Women of the Moose, Rome Trading Post, Rome.
Canan Jackson was born in Ankara, Turkey where she began her dance training at age three. At age seven, she was selected first among hundreds auditioning for the prestigious Ankara National Conservatory for the Performing Arts. She graduated from the conservatory with honors and obtained teaching certification.
Canan was accepted into the Ankara National Ballet of Turkey as a soloist when she was seventeen years old. For the next eight years, she danced most of the Classical Repertoire including Romeo & Juliet, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia and Paquita.
She studied under masters from the Royal Ballet of London and the Bolshoi Ballet of Russia. Among other notables, she worked with Yuri Grigorovich, director of the Bolshoi Ballet and Yuri Papko noted Russian Choreographer.
In 1980, she performed at the prestigious Varna Ballet Competition in Bulgaria and was invited to dance in West Germany as a guest artist. She remained primarily in West Germany for seven years as a principal dancer with the National Theatre of Mannheim working with many noted international choreographers.
While performing with the National Theatre of Mannheim, she danced with Stephen Jackson. They married and in 1987, the couple moved to Rome where in 1988, they opened The John Hayes O’Neill Studio of Dance. Canan has instructed thousands of aspiring dancers and staged hundreds of performances to the delight of Central New York audiences.
Stephen J. Jackson
Stephen J. Jackson was born in Rome and began his dance and theater training with John Hayes O’Neill. His first appearance on stage was at age three. His performances have included hundreds of ballet productions, musicals, revues, operas and operettas.
Jackson studied dance at The Royal Academy of Dance in London and at SUNY Purchase. He completed an intensive course of study with master teachers Paul Jejia and Suzanne Farrell of the New York City Ballet. He undertook additional studies at the School of American Ballet in New York City.
Stephen performed with the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet and toured extensively throughout the United States as a soloist with the Stars of American Ballet. He danced with the Zurich Ballet in Switzerland and in Germany he performed with the Hanover State Ballet, the National Theater of Mannheinm, the Stadt Theater of Mainz and the Stadt Theater of Bielefeld.
He has performed most of the classical repertoire including Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Giselle and Romeo & Juliet as well as many contemporary and modern works from numerous international choreographers and performers including Rudolph Nureyev and George Balanchine.
Jackson has taught at the High School of Performing Arts in Frankfurt and also in Mannheim, Germany. He has served as a faculty member for The National Dance Institute in New York City and has also been a guest teacher at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.
His credits include choreography for many musicals and operettas. Jackson has also served as resident choreographer and teacher for the Capitol Theatre’s SummerStage Series. Stephen co-directs with his wife Canan, The John Hayes O’Neill Studio of Dance in Rome where they have instructed thousands of students and annually stage a local production of the Nutcracker.
John Bloomfield Jervis
John Bloomfield Jervis was born on December 14, 1795, Huntington, Long Island, New York. In 1798, he moved to Rome with his parents, Timothy and Phoebe Jervis.
He received his education as an engineer while apprenticing under Benjamin Wright, “the father of civil engineering.” Under Wright, he progressed from axeman and rodman on the survey for the Erie Canal to being in charge of 17 miles of canal by 1819. He went on to become superintendent in charge of the flow of traffic over a 50-mile span of the completed canal in 1823, and was eventually made chief engineer of the Delaware & Hudson Canal, the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad, the Saratoga and Schenectady Railroad, the Chenango Canal, the Eastern Half of the Erie Canal, and the Croton Aqueduct, the first reliable water supply to New York City, among others. He was also an inventor, and the author of several engineering books.
Throughout his life, he received many honors. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Hamilton College in 1878, and many objects were his namesake, including the town of Port Jervis, and the Delaware and Hudson Canal and Railway company’s finest locomotive.
He married twice, first to Cynthia Brayton and then to Eliza Ruthven Coates. Having no surviving children or direct living heirs, upon his death in 1885 at 89, he bequeathed his home, personal library and letters, and his many engineering drawings to the city of Rome for the establishment of Rome’s Jervis Library. The papers left by Jervis number in the thousands and include original manuscripts of books he authored.