Joseph P. Yozzo
Joe Yozzo was born in Rome, NY, and began performing music in 1933. His first teacher was the legendary Enstacio
Pinti, director of the Rome White Band. Initially playing tuba, Joe switched to string bass in 1939.
In 1943 Joe Yozzo went into the Army. He spent 5 months in combat duty at Russell Island, Guadal Canal before being selected by the 230th Army Ground Force Band. His gigs for Special Services included playing for service shows featuring Bob Hope, Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Frances Langford, Jerry Colonna, and Eddie “Rochester” Anderson. Joe has also played for 26 shows with Jack Benny and sat in with such bands as Glenn Miller, Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Frankie Carl, and Les Brown.
Joe continued to perform after his discharge from the military until 1960, when, shattered by the loss of his 11-month-old son, he put down his string bass. Urged on by Rocky Cole and Patti Page, Joe began performing again. He played bass with Johnny Salerno’s band for 36 years, and eventually performed with the Sal Alberico band and the No Name Band. As Joe says, “Music has been a lot of my life, and I have made a lot of good friends over the years.”
Jo Ann Krant Geller
Jo Ann Geller was born in Chester, Pennsylvania and graduated from Chester High School. While a student in High School she studied piano with Jon Carlin at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music.
After graduating Jo Ann was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with a degree in Musicology. While a student at Penn, she studied piano under Vladimir Socoloff at the Curtis Institute of Music and also accompanied the Choir under the direction of William Smith, assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
She continued her piano studies in Munich, Germany under Leonard Shure. Returning to the States Jo Ann became a member of the performance faculty at the Wilmington School of Music, Wilmington, Delaware. Later she worked for a time as an assistant editor at the Theodore Presser Music Publishing Company in Philadelphia, PA.
Jo Ann had appeared in numerous performances throughout New York State as soloist, accompanist, and in chamber ensembles. She was an adjunct professor at MVCC and is currently a member of a duo piano team with Bruce Smith. Jo Ann has an extensive piano teaching practice and she is also a member of the Board of the Rome Concert Band.
Herbert Geller was born in Rome, NY and graduated from Rome Free Academy. Herb studied clarinet privately with John Flaver. He was accepted to The Juilliard School of Music where he completed a degree program in clarinet performance under the great French Clarinetist, Augustin Duques.
Herb was the Band Director at Vernon, Verona, Sherrill High School and later the Band Director at Rome Free Academy. His teaching career included clarinet instructor at Hartwick College and the Crane School of Music at Potsdam. Herb also formed and conducted the RFA Wind Ensemble and Alumni Band for many memorable summer concerts. He is currently an adjunct professor at MVCC and a member of the Clarion Clarinet Quartet.
Frank Page was born September 17, 1975 in Rome, New York. As a child, he was never far away from a pad of
paper and pencils. Cartooning seemed the obvious choice for his life’s path.
Page has been staff cartoonist/graphic designer at the Rome Daily Sentinel since 1997. In 2010, he accepted an adjunct faculty position with the art department at Cazenovia College. He has given dozens of lectures about the mechanics of
cartooning, sequential art, the importance of reading, anti-bullying and art in general to schools throughout Central New York. He holds a BFA in illustration from Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY and a MFA in Visual Art with emphasis
on Sequential Art from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT.
Welthy Honsinger Fisher
Welthy Blakesley Honsinger was born in Rome, New York on September 18, 1879 and grew up hoping to be an opera
singer. But upon hearing a missionary speaker, she discarded her plan and completed her education as a teacher.
In 1924 she married Frederick Bohn Fisher. Both the Fishers were well respected by Gandhi and other prominent leaders of the Indian Independence Movement. Upon his death in 1938, she wrote his biography and studied educational systems throughout the world. She lectured throughout the U.S. on women of the world and Chinese Industrial Cooperatives. Six weeks before his death in 1947, Gandhi asked her to return to India and continue her work on education in India’s villages. At the age of 73, she returned to India in 1952 to work with Frank Laubach, Christian Evangelical missionary and literacy pioneer. Deciding that literacy training linked with agricultural and industrial development was a key strategy to eradicate poverty; Welthy broke with Laubach and founded Literacy House at Allahabad. In 1956, Literacy house moved to Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, where it became famous for its effectiveness and its House of Prayer for All People.
Welthy and her fellow literacy pioneers started two non-profit organizations, World Education and World Literacy in Canada. She was closely involved in both organizations for many years, either as President or an advisor. Throughout her nineties she traveled throughout the world and made her final trip to India as a government guest in 1980, shortly before her death at the age of 101. Fisher was honored by the Indian government, which based its village literacy programs on her ideas, and issued a stamp in her likeness.
Jane Grace Taylor holds a Masters in Illustration from Syracuse University. She taught at Rome Free Academy for
many years. She was the advisor for the award winning school art and literary magazine “Galleries” which encouraged
students to express their creative thoughts and display their art. She retired to pursue a career as a full time artist. She teaches workshops and classes at the Rome Art and Community Center and the Kirkland Art Center.
She is treasurer of the Central New York Watercolor Society, President of the Rome Art Association, long time member of the Sumi-e Society of America, the Utica Art Association, and Artists of Mohawk Valley. She is active in three forms of Martial Arts, a black belt in American Karate, a black belt in Aikido, and has begun training in Iaido (Japanese Sword). The meditative quality and focused movements of these arts have greatly influenced her work, as seen in the rapid brush of Asian style calligraphy and painting.
She has recently been awarded “Best of Show” in the international juried online exhibit of the Sumi-e Society of America.
She has exhibited in Lorton Virginia and in Long Island, NY and won the “Scotty Thornton Award”. The curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has accepted her work in a juried Sumi-e exhibit in New Jersey. She has recently completed the illustrations for “The Legend of Beardsley Manor” by A. (Peter) Polosi and “A Moment of Zen”, a collection of her art and poetry and poems of Eddie Savio.
Her monumental murals include three figures on the Sports hall of fame, the painting known as “Paul Revere”( Peter Gansevoort- Commandant of Fort Stanwix – 5,000 square feet, 60 feet high), float for the Honor America Days Parade, The Dr. King Memorial Park on South Street, Utica, NY; The Strough JH auditorium; the tunnel near the Capitol Theatre; pictures of children in two Rome City parks; the children’s room in theFoster Children’s Center; Woodstock 99 wall; Knights on the Stairwell at RFA; Mother Cabrini at St John’s Church; Angels and the altar at St Joseph’s Church ,Lee Center NY. She has had one person shows at the Rome Art and Community Center, SUNY IT, The Stanley Performing Arts Center and Guest artist at Alterra Village. She will have work in numerous Central New York Watercolor Society Shows .