For John Salerno, music was his life. Beginning at age 8, he began taking lessons on the clarinet and continued performing his music for over 70 years.
John played all types of music on his clarinet and saxophone, but his favorite was jazz and Dixieland. He played in numerous jazz festivals at the Savoy and The Beeches restaurants and was part of the group in the recording of the Jazz Along the Mohawk album.
During the early 1970’s, John, along with other area musicians, organized the very popular Rome Civic Band. He played an important part in the building of the bandstand at Franklyn’s Field, which was the site of many weekly civic band concerts that drew large crowds during the summer months. He also performed in most of the Honor America Days Parades.
Jean A. Vollmer
Jean became an art instructor in 1973 and joined the Rome Art Association in 1985; that same year she became a member of the RAA board of directors and was elected Corresponding Secretary—a post she holds to this day.
Today Jean Vollmer serves as judge for selection of “Art of the Month” in Rome elementary schools.
Richard R. Vollmer
In 1986 Richard Vollmer joined the Rome Art Association, serving as Vice President for two years and as President for 12 years. For the past four years he has served as Treasurer of that organization.
As President of RAA he helped start a program with the principal and art instructor at John Joy Elementary School for an “Artist of the Month” program. He continues to participate with other RAA members in selecting students to be so honored in Rome city elementary schools.
Other activities Richard has engaged in on behalf of RAA includes displaying members’ artwork throughout the community; assisting in annual Art Camps for Ages Together Intergenerational Group throughout the Camden Central School District; participating in play presentations with Camden High School Student Drama Club; conducting train programs for Camden Elementary Schools and Senior citizen groups in Sylvan Beach, Rome, Camden, Lee Center and Clinton Lutheran Center; and assisting Boy Scouts in getting merit badges for transportation (trains).
He served on the board of directors at Rome Art and Community Center for six years, and was a member of Utica Art Association and Rome Photography Society.
Robert G. Hubbell
Robert G. Hubbell was born in Ilion, N.Y. He played music in the high school band and orchestra and had the honor of being selected as solo clarinetist in the first New York State All State Band held at Ithaca College in 1935.
A year later, during World War II, Bob began his stint in the military, serving in the Signal Corps until his discharge in 1945. While waiting to come home after the war, Bob played in the 129th Signal Corp dance band, which performed with the Bob Hope show in Frankfort.
After the war Bob performed with many groups including the Remington Typewriter Band, the Utica Civic Band, the Rome Civic Band, the Syracuse Symphony, and the Utica Symphony. In 1948 he received his Master’s Degree in Music Education from Syracuse University. Bob’s teaching took him to the Rome Public Schools where he derived great pleasure in inspiring students to excel in music for 25 years. Under his tutelage as Director of Music, Rome’s music program thrived and grew into one of the finest in the state.
Ann Barbara Dersherl Hurlbut was born September 17, 1924 in Rome, New York. She first became interested in performing arts while attending high school at Rome Free Academy, where she was involved in the school’s drama productions.
Ann was one of the first members of the Rome Community Theater, which was formed in 1953. Ann served as the organization’s corporate memory and was the first to welcome new participants giving them a feeling for the history of the group. She also served as a member of the theater’s board of trustees holding the office of secretary for many terms.
Ann was active with the Griffiss Air Force Base-related Newcomers Club, which was the official organization tasked with welcoming new area residents and familiarizing them with local businesses and organizations. This gave Ann the opportunity to recruit new ticket holders and volunteers for Rome Community Theater. Additionally, Ann Hurlbut served as president of the Rome Genetaska Club and as a board member of the Rome Art and Community Center.
Greg Kuzma was born and raised in Rome, NY. After graduating from Rome Free Academy, he continued his education at Syracuse University.
A gifted educator, Greg Kuzma taught contemporary poetry and poetry writing at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for over 40 years. He has also taught creative non-fiction writing at the Chautauqua Writers’ Center Festival in New York.
Known within the literary community for his support and promotion of other writers, Greg founded the Best Cellar Press, under which he produced handset letterpress chapbooks of other poets. Most recently the Best Cellar Press has published REreadings Two, a collection of critical essays about American poetry and poets. He also started the literary magazine Pebble.