Susan Briggs Flanders Davidson was born October 7, 1949 in Rome. After graduation from RFA, she attended Skidmore College and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1971 with a major in Art Education/Weaving. Susan continued her education accumulating more than one hundred hours in graduate studies.
Some special projects during her teaching years included ROSIE (Rome’s Outdoor Summer Instructional Experience); Rome Area Chamber of Commerce/RCSD Student Art Exhibits; Chin-America, Rome’s Sister-City project with Xinyu, Jiangxi Province; “It’s a Zoo” Theatre Competition and the fourth graders’ Mural project on downtown Rome windows with Main Street Alliance.
As a member of the Rome Art Association, she was responsible for the
Student Artist of the Month Program. Her volunteer activities included the Rome Art and Community Center, where she was a weaving instructor, coordinator for the Center’s Summer Craft Days, a member of the Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees. Susan was a fitness instructor for the Rome Family Y. She has served on the Board of Deacons and the Board of Trustees at Rome’s First Presbyterian Church where she is also a member of the Senior Choir, the Hand Bell Choir and is substitute Organist.
Other memberships include Delta Kappa Gamma, Honor Society for Outstanding Women Educators; Wednesday Morning Club; Heather Twig; Rome Teachers Association; Retired Teachers Association; Central New York Watercolor Society; Lake Delta Yacht Club and Teugega Country Club. She is a member of the Herbert T. Dyett Foundation Grant Committee and an Alumnae Admissions Correspondent for Skidmore College. In 2012, Susan received the Rome College Foundation Star Student Teacher Award. She was selected by Randy Linderman.
Susan Davidson’s accomplishments as an artist have been recognized by the Cooperstown National Juried Art Exhibition and Sculpture Space. She has demonstrated traditional crafts at the Madison County Historical Society’s Craft Fair and at Constable Hall’s Craft Fair.
Richard Patrick DeLutis, Jr. was born in Rome, New York on March 24, 1953. He attended Rome Public Schools and graduated from Rome Free Academy in June 1971.
Richard began music lessons on the clarinet in the fifth grade. He subsequently switched to the trumpet in the tenth grade. He received an Associate Degree in Music
Richard taught instrumental music in the Rome Catholic Schools from September 1975 through June 1978. He taught music in the Herkimer school system before beginning his teaching duties in the Rome Public School system in 1983.
He is a long time member of MENC (Music Educators’ National Conference), and has been a member of the American Federation of Musicians since 1973, Locals 313, 51 and 78. Rich DeLutis has played trumpet and trombone in a variety of musical ensembles including the Rome Civic Band, the Boonville Concert Band, the Mohawk Valley Community College Concert Band, and the MVCC Jazz Band. He co-founded with his former junior high school band director Calvin Dening; “Just Brass”, a brass quintet.
Richard has been a member of the Utica Symphony trumpet section for more than thirty years. He founded the Westernville Trombone Choir, a group of twelve area trombonists who perform annually during the Christmas season. He has also played in the pit orchestra for many area high school musical productions.
His instrumental music teaching duties in 2012 are performed in Rome’s Staley Upper Elementary School.
Rome, New York native Doug Magee is a photojournalist, screenplay writer, children’s book author, death penalty activist, film producer and director, war protestor, former college football player and amateur musician. He attended Rome Free Academy, Amherst College and Union Theological Seminary. Doug worked as a photojournalist
He is the author of Slow Coming Dark, a book of interviews with death row inmates and What Murder Leaves Behind: The Victim’s Family, profiles of families of murder victims. Doug is passionately opposed to state-sanctioned killing. Never Wave Goodbye, his first novel was published in June 2010 and his second novel, Darkness All Around was published in October 2011. In addition, he has written three children’s books; All Aboard ABC, Let’s Fly From A to Z, and Trucks You Can Count On.
His films include the HBO movie Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture and the Showtime movie Beyond the Call. He enjoys playing softball with the Writers Guild of America East team and playing trombone with the East River Jazz Band. He refers to New York’s Spanish Harlem where he has lived for many years, as “One of the beating hearts of the city”.
Rick Montalbano, born in Rome in 1949 was performing music professionally by the time he was thirteen. Rick credits several area musicians with heavily influencing his music career. Among them are Jack Palmer, Dolores and Sammy Mancuso, Sal Amico, Chick Esposito and JR Montrose. An early learning experience, which Rick deems important, was his stint as keyboard accompanist for The Rhythm-Lites, a group of young singers and dancers.
For a part of the 1960s, Rick traveled with a road band playing rock gigs up and down the East Coast and into Middle America. His next stop was with the band Fuel which included Vinnie Esposito, Dave and Dean Blask and Carmen Caramonica. During this time, Rick began composing and arranging which he continued throughout the rest of his career. Between musical gigs, Rick worked as an on air personality for radio stations WRNY and WTLB. He toured with singer Lou Rawls as conductor, piano player and organist through much of the 1970s playing Las Vegas, New York, LA and most points in between. In the 1980s, Rick, along with Al Serway and Scott Rutledge played numerous area events as Ovation. During that time, Al and Rick started the Music Factory recording studio. Rick also served as music director and pianist for the Three Rivers Inn near Syracuse. He currently is contractor and pianist for the Turning Stone Casino Show Room where he performs with some of the most recognizable names in the entertainment world.
Rick has performed with a huge list of jazz greats from Chuck Mangione and Jaco Pastorius to Phil Woods and Louie Bellson. Much in demand as an accompanist, Rick has played for vocalists as diverse as Aretha Franklyn and Jane Monheit.
Some of Rick’s favorite area venues have included Birdland, a club in the old Baggs Square area of Utica where he performed with the legendary saxophonist Tina Brooks, jazz at Pastabilities in Syracuse and Rome’s Savoy where he has played solo piano for more than twenty years. Rick currently teaches jazz piano at Colgate University, Hamilton College and Syracuse University. He is assistant music director for the Central New York Jazz Orchestra and has performed and recorded with the Syracuse Symphony.
Frederick A. Normand, was born in Utica, NY and graduated from Rome Free Academy, Mohawk Valley Community College, and Utica College. He retired in 1989 from Rome Lab where he worked as a Computer Scientist.
Fred has been a member of numerous volunteer organizations in Rome and has served as an officer or board member for many, including the Rome Historical Society, Rome Academy
He has received many awards for set design from the Rome Community Theater where he has served as a board member and officer for more than fifty years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Capitol Theatre’s Board of Directors. As a member of the Rome Grand Theatre Organ Society, he was part of the group that helped restore the Capitol’s Mőller Theatre Organ. Fred also led the effort to rebuild the Capitol’s 1939 ticket booth.
Fred Normand received the Nora Burke Award from the Rome Community Theater, the Roses for the Living Award from the Rome Rotary Club, was runner up for the National ACE Volunteer of the year award, and received the National Robert E. Gard Superior Volunteer Award from the American Association of Community Theatres. In addition to his aforementioned work with non-profit organizations, Fred has been involved as an officer or director with numerous other Rome organizations the Rome Historical Society, Jervis Public Library Association, Lake Delta Kiwanis, Habitat for Humanity, Rome Art and Community Center, Rome Rotary Club, and several others.
Helen Adele Phillips was born on May 5, 1936 in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania. Her family moved to Farrell, Pennsylvania where she graduated from Farrell Senior High in 1954.
Helen’s interest in music began at an early age with piano lessons. She studied music education at SUNY, Fredonia where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education in 1958. Her graduate studies were accomplished at Crane School of Music at SUNY, Potsdam.
Her first teaching assignments were as vocal music teacher in the Holland Patent Elementary School and the Remsen Central School. In 1959, Mrs. Phillips-Hannah began her teaching career in the Rome City School District where she taught vocal music at Ridge Mills, Stokes, Harvey Alter, Louis V. Denti and DeWitt Clinton elementary schools before retiring from Denti school in June 1991.
During the years devoted to teaching music to Rome’s youngsters, Helen also served her community as organist and pianist for the Immanuel Baptist Church in Rome. She also found time to sing with the Rome Community Chorus and the Rome Choral Society and give private piano lessons.
Helen explored other areas of the performing arts as a member of the Rome Community Theater’s cast of “Guys and Dolls” and as Bessie (along with Jeanne McDowell as Sadie) in the story of the Delany Sisters, “Having Our Say” for the Wednesday Morning Club.
Additional musical endeavors include accompanying area vocalists on programs for the National Association for the advancement of Colored People and the Afro American Heritage Association. She also served the NAACP as treasurer for four years.
Other interests include the Toastmistress Club, the Rome Art and Community Center where she served as a member of the Board of Directors for nine years.
Helen spent several summers as a counselor at Camp Sarah Agnes Stevens for Brownies and at Camp Kingsley for the Girl Scouts.
Coley Worth was born Coleman Peter Rothmund at the family homestead at 1011 N. George St. on July 3, 1908. The son of musician and local theatrical impresario Otto Rothmund, Coley grew up in show business. He attended Rome schools and was a member of the undefeated Rome Free Academy football team in 1924.
He spent the remainder of his career, which lasted more than 60 years, in vaudeville, legitimate theater (including the original Broadway casts of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and 70, Girls, 70), regional theater, and television (appearing twice on The Jackie Gleason Show in the 1960’s). He also appeared several times in the ‘50’s, ‘60’s, and ‘70’s in operettas at the New York City Opera, his signature role being that of Frosh, the jailer in Die Fledermaus.
Coley Worth passed away in October of 1987 and is survived by his wife, Marcia Ray Worth, with whom he had been performing since their marriage in 1934. Coley’s heritage is carried on by his family: his daughter Caroline Worth-Tyrrell is executive director of a New Jersey dance studio, and his daughter Penny Worth is a noted stage performer whose credits include the starring role of Roxie Hart in the national tour of Chicago in 1977. Coley also has grandchildren in show business, Luke Darnell, a television actor and stunt man, and Coleman Anderson, who performs in the rock band Greasy Hands.