*This story first appeared in The Budget’s June 13, 2018, Local Edition.
By Beverly Keller
The Dominic Greco Band has undergone a few changes for this season, its 101st, but the sound is on point.
Due to the retirement of Frederick Delphia, the long-time director of the band founded in 1917 by Dominic Greco, a trio has stepped forward to lead. The group includes Brian Botdorf, Cheryl Graham and April Linard. Delphia was at the helm since 1983, and members noted he will be missed but they are excited to embark upon a new journey under the leadership of Botdorf, Graham and Linard who all played under Delphia for years.
Botdorf is a trombone aficionado. He completed his education at Bowling Green and Ashland. Botdorf spent his teaching career at Lakota Ridge located in West Chester where he focused on junior high band and jazz band.
Cheryl Graham is a name known throughout Tuscarawas County. She is the former director of the band at New Philadelphia High School and is currently the K – 5 vocal music teacher at Central and South elementary schools in the New Philadelphia district. Graham is the co-director of the Big, Bad, Bodacious Brass Band, a brass choir that is known for its sound at events throughout the area. She completed her education at Muskingum and Akron universities and plays the French horn.
April Linard is known for her trumpet skills. She is currently the band director at Union Local Schools in Belmont. She is also part of Jericho Big Band. In addition to teaching band, Linard leads general music courses as well as theatre at the school. She completed her education at Malone.
Each conductor will put together programs this season that will include a wide variety of music from marches to movie themes.
Originally known as the “Italian Band,” the band has transformed but kept a strong following in the community. Volunteer musicians make up its ranks, and its roster has over 75 again this year. Those members range in age from high school to adults. In some cases, members travel over 80 miles to take part in the group. Some are retired musicians while others are still active in the field.