Posts Tagged ‘George corradino’

George Corradino Retires from the Bob Barr Community Band

July 15, 2009


George Crradino conducting the Bob Barr Community Band, Springer Tehater, Columbus, GA

George Crradino conducting the Bob Barr Community Band, Springer Opera House, Columbus, GA

What a way George Corradino picked to debut on Facebook.  In his very first message he tells us he is retiring from the Bob Barr Community Band.  

George – if I wanted to get formal I would say Dr. Corradino, but I have considered him a friend for 40 years so I guess I’ll say George – came to Columbus at the suggestion of Bob Barr.   George left as an assistant band director at Auburn to become director of the Columbus High School Band.

This is all very personal for me since the late Bob Barr was my band director and had a lasting, and positive, affect on my life.  I was the first person he selected to be the band’s drum major. After I graduated in 1948, the band continued to grow and he took it to great heights, doing well in a band contest in Chicago and winning one in New York.  My late nephew Jack Gibson played in George’s Columbus High Band and George had a tremendous affect on him. My late sister Betty, Jack’s mom, told me that the only thing that kept Jack in Columbus High and got him on track to being a good student was George Corradino and that band.  Jack went on to get his PhD at the University of Alabama, and was Vice President of Development for Kennesaw State University when he died.  Kennesaw State  named a building for him, Gibson Hall.

When Mr. Barr – he’ll always be Mr. Barr to me – died in the late 1980’s, George headed up the Jordan Alumni Bob Barr Band to play a half-time show at a Jordan-Columbus game in honor to the memory of his friend and fellow band director.  Jordan alumni who had played in a Bob Barr Jordan band came from all over the country to play in that half-time show.  It was a very moving event.

That band morphed into the Bob Barr Community Band, with the big difference being that you don’t have to be a Jordan grad to play in it.  George has led that band for most of its 20 year’s existance.  I emceed the band’s very first half-time show and first concert and, at George’s request,  the 20th anniversary concert.

As well as leading the Columbus High, HardawayHigh, and Jordan High bands – he filled in for six months when Mr. Barr left until Jordan found a new band director – he played with a number of Columbus dance bands, including the 17-piece Cavaliers, which he now also leads.   

George Corradino playing a solo with the Columbus Community Orchestra at Hardaway High School, where he ad been that school's first band director, Columbus, GA

George Corradino playing a solo as guest artist with the Columbus Community Orchestra at Hardaway High School, where he had been that school's first band director, Columbus, GA

He is a very generous person.  For instance, he has played solo performances at many funerals, and not just for Columbus musicians but others as well.   He loves music, and he loves musicians, and he deserves all of the admiration that the community can give him.  His contributions to the area are enormous, and that includes his educational contributions. He was the director of the Muscogee County School District music program for years.

Thanks, George Corradino, for what you have done for music and musicians in our area.

“Mr. Music,” George Corradino, Says MCSD Music Program Needs a Supervisor

November 24, 2008


Ben Mallard)

Dr. George Corradino playing with Columbus Community Orchestra (Courtesy: Joey Cumming)

 Dr. George Corradino, as only he could, used the occasion of being featured soloist of the Columbus Community Orchestra, to issue a call to action in support of school music in the Muscogee County School District. He had just finished playing “Georgia On My Mind,” with the orchestra, and he added an unaccompanied solo of Italian music his mother loved, both crowd pleasers that got him a big hand, when he launched into an appeal for everyone there to lobby the school board to hire a supervisor of music. That’s the job from which he retired. The system hasn’t had one for years, now, and he thinks it shows.

  “We are about to get a new superintendent of schools so now is a good time to push for an emphasis on school music and hiring a supervisor of music, ” he told the crowd.

  Afterwards, as we were walking out to ours cars, I said, “George, I guess the reason we don’t have a supervisor of music is because of the money.”

  “It’s not the money, Dick. They would save money by having a supervisor.”

  “Then what is it?”

   “I don’t know, but it’s not the money.  By having a central office for the school music program they could save money in ordering supplies, for one thing. And how about hiring music teachers? Principals are hiring them now for each school.  Music is not their speciality. They don’t have the qualifications for hiring band directors and other music teachers.”

  Over all, he thinks the music program in the schools has gone down. It appears to me that he is right. For instance, over all, the high school bands are nowhere nearly as impressive as they were for many years, years when the superintendent and school board ardently supported the program.  That support started when Dr. William Henry Shaw became superintendent after World War II and it increased over the years. But, where is it now?  

  The strange thing is that Columbus is a music city. The Schowb School of Music at Columbus State University is one of the best in the country. The school’s Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble are both outstanding.  The Columbus Symphony is a fine orchestra. And we have community groups such as the Bob Barr Community Band, the Cavaliers big band, and the Columbus Community Orchestra, providing not only music for all of us to enjoy, but giving an outlet to adult amateur musicians. But, what has happened to the Muscogee County School District’s music program?  

  George was getting really hot about it because he, like me, knows how far reaching a good music program can be. He knows that music students usually make good overall students and learn self-discipline which helps them all through life.  Have you ever noticed how many physcians are musicians? The first violinist of the Community Band is Dr. Ken Goldman, a Columbus surgeon. Dr. Mary Schley, a retired pediatrician, plays viola. My late cousin, Dr. Billy Dodd of Macon,  loved to play the piano, and had his own dance and jazz bands.

Joey Cumming)

Dr. Ken Goldman, surgeon, first violinist of the Columbus Community Orchestra (Courtesy: Joey Cumming)

  Yes, music is very important in life.  Let’s hope the new superintendent and the school board realize that and act accordingly.  If they don’t, beleive me, George will be after them because he has the energy to do it. Though my age, 78, he still goes full steam, giving his time to lead the Cavaliers Big Band, the Bob Barr Community Band and play for all sorts of occasions.

Joey Cumming)

Columbus Community Orchestra, william E. Fry, Conductor, James B Mallard III, Assistant Conductor (Courtesy: Joey Cumming)