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    *Previous Band Members of the Month*
    Al Oneto


    Al has been involved in playing a musical instrument since he was about five years old when his parents bought a piano and he began taking piano lessons. In fifth grade he had the opportunity to start instrumental music lessons at school where he chose the trumpet.  Because there were too many trumpet players in the junior high band, Al switched to the French horn.  He played first horn with his high school (Great Neck H. S., New York) band and orchestra for three years. 

    Although he played two years with his college orchestra,  he eventually stopped playing because of his many other activities and insufficient time to practice the horn.  About 25 years later, Al, a middle school principal in Fairfield, hired Art Parisi as band director. Art encouraged Al to join the summer band with which he played for several years.

    When Al retired from the principalship in 1986, he began to look for other opportunities for  horn playing, and he spoke to Frank Furman who was band director at Roger Ludlowe H. S. in Fairfield, and the director of the SCCB. Al  joined SCCB that fall and has been with the band since then.   Al also joined the orchestra at Fairfield University and formed and coordinated both the woodwind quintet “Winds In Time” and the brass quintet “Sounding Brass.” 

    Al has also been active in vocal music as well, beginning with his participation in the church youth choir when he was in high school. In college he sang with the Men’s Glee Club. After college he has sung with a church choir for over 45 years. He has taken private voice lessons and became a solo performer at church, and in the Wednesday Afternoon Musical Club and with the Connecticut Opera Alliance. Al and his wife, Jean, have sung major oratorios for the past eighteen summers with the Berkshire Choral Festival.  They also are part of a barbershop quartet with another couple, performing at nursing homes and churches in the summer and  holiday season.

    Al has an AB degree from Oberlin College, as well as an MEd and PhD from Kent State U. He has been a math teacher, a school system research and public information specialist, a middle school principal and a college teacher.  In his retirement Al participates in and coordinates groups in bridge, tennis, model railroad operation and money counting at church.  He has also been a member of his church’s music committee, finance committee, scholarship committee, and administrative board. He and Jean sing in the church vocal choir and play in the hand bell choir.  They have been married since 1956 and have three grown daughters and three grandsons. All of them have been in or are currently in school bands.  


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