Thomas Fraschillo

Induction: February 2, 2013

Thomas V. Fraschillo has served as catalyst and mentor for the teaching profession for 43 years. His high standards of performance have had a sustained influence on ensembles at every level, and his performances serve as models in both the professional or academic arena throughout the world. Through his recordings, The Music of Luigi Zaninelli and The University of Southern Mississippi Wind Ensemble LIVE IN ITALY (recorded in Italy with the USM Wind Ensemble), and his publishing, conducting, and lecturing in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, he is considered an international musician/scholar. His publications, translations from the original Italian of Alessandro Vessella’s Studi di strumentazione (Instrumentation Studies), and La Tecnica dell’orchestra contemporanea (The Technique of Contemporary Orchestration) by Alfredo Casella and Vittorio Mortari, both published by BMG Ricordi, Milan, have put his name in music libraries of the entire English speaking world. The translation of the Casella/Mortari makes available an English version of the most significant music publication on writing for instruments after the Second World War. As a writer/scholar Dr. Fraschillo is a contributing editor to the American Grove Dictionary, 2nd Edition and serves as a frequent conductor and lecturer in Italy as an American scholar. It should be noted that while there he lectures in Italian. His most recent appearances in Italy have been with La Banda dell’esercito/The Italian Army Band in Rome. One of his most significant engagements with them signaled a very important milestone for the Italian Army in that Dr. Fraschillo was the first American-born conductor to have been invited to appear in a public performance by what is considered Italy’s most prestigious military concert band. The concert with Dr. Fraschillo conducting was the opening concert of the International Festival in Spoleto, “The Festival of Two Worlds, Festival dei due mondi.” His appearance was enormously significant for conductors of bands in that the opening performance featured such international artists as Gian Carlo Menotti, the renowned composer who organized and began the event, the Orchestra and Giuseppe Verdi Chorus of Milan with Ricardo Chailly conducting, and the Italian actress, Claudia Cardinale whose work was being displayed in a film retrospective. Finally, in Italy Dr. Fraschillo often serves as a member of the giuria (judging panel) for many international festivals, most notably the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione “R. Marenco” di Novi Ligure, and the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Originale per Banda di Corciano.

Aside from Dr. Fraschillo’s work in Europe, he is often engaged throughout the continents of Asia, and Australia. The Melbourne, Australia, Summer Youth Music Program has invited Dr. Fraschillo to be their guest conductor for their week long summer session for five years. In addition the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association has invited him to lecture and to adjudicate at their large ensemble festivals. Dr. Fraschillo’s other work in the Pacific Rim includes having recently served as clinician and guest conductor of the Central Armed Forces Band in Singapore and as conductor of the Singapore All-College Band sponsored by the Wind Band Association of Singapore. In 2009 and 2010 Dr. Fraschillo served as Artistic Director for the weeklong Winter Band Festival at Disney, Hong Kong.

Dr. Fraschillo has devoted a significant amount of his career to public education at the secondary level. For example his tenure at Meridian High School was highlighted by an invitation to perform at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious music event for band directors. Dr. Fraschillo’s Meridian students obtained successes not before reached, for he taught and helped place the first African-American students in the Mississippi All-State Band.

Dr. Fraschillo has attained a significant level in the realm of international leadership in that he serves as a past president of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association following a long line of distinguished conductors in that office. Other offices have been the presidency of the world’s largest organization for band directors, the National Band Association, and President of the CBDNA Southern Division.

Under his leadership the University of Southern Mississippi’s Wind Ensemble has been featured on frequent public radio broadcasts in Mississippi, on Performance Today, a program of PRI (Public Radio International), and has performed for many regional and national conventions including two of the American Bandmasters Association and three of the College Band Director’s National Association. In 1998, he brought for the first time the national convention of the American Bandmasters Association to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As a result of all of the above he is constantly in demand as a conductor and lecturer throughout the world and attracts a steady stream of graduate students to USM to study in its doctoral programs.