Music is life for Dunmore’s Neil Nicastro
By Steve Svetovich
Besides his family, everything about Neil Nicastro has to do with music.
Nicastro, 41, teaches music in a studio above the Wonder Stone Gallery, corner of Blakely and Drinker streets at Dunmore corners.
The 1994 Dunmore High School graduate, along with fellow local musician John Ventre, also recently came out with a new EP of original material.
The EP, which has five original songs, was featured on PA Live. George Graham has been playing it on WVIA radio. It has been played on the local radio station, The Mountain.
“We have 20 original songs,” said Nicastro. “Every couple of months, we will come out with a new EP with another five songs.”
The EP, called “For Escaping,” is a mixture of folk and acoustic. Ventre plays bass on the EP. Nicastro plays string instrumentals, piano, guitar and sings.
“The EP is a good mix of everything.”
When he is not making an EP or out performing, Nicastro keeps busy in his studio teaching just about every musical instrument from guitar to piano to ukulele to mandolin to banjo. He also teaches voice and music theory.
Nicastro earned a B.S. degree in Exercise Science and Physiology from East Stroudsburg University, but jokes he only used that degree for two months before he was hired for a music gig.
Nicastro currently performs with a country band called Nate Hosie. The band toured nationally around the country performing in 42 states.
“It was an experience,” said Nicastro.
He also performed and toured with a band called “The Five Percent.”
And when the multi-talented musician has a little spare time on his hands, he is out doing solo gigs and weddings locally and at Pocono resorts like Cove Haven.
And he works as a disc jockey too.
“For a wedding,” he said, “I try to play the ceremony and then DJ the night. I might play the dinner music and then serve as the DJ for the rest. I do whatever it takes.”
Nicastro does anything to stay busy doing what he loves. “I say yes to all events. I”ll play whatever the job calls for. I”ll play jazz, classical, polkas, just about anything.
“The key in this business is to do everything and play every instrument you can.”
The Dunmore native said he took musical lessons as a child at Gallucci Studio in downtown Scranton.
He is married to the former Erin Duffy, a New Jersey native. The couple has two children, Santino, 10, and Paloma, 7.