Dunmore High School will participate in a Cavalcade of Bands hosted by the North Pocono Trojan Marching Band and Units, with the assistance of the North Pocono Band Parents Association, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6 p.m., at the North Pocono Stadium Complex, located behind the district’s middle school. 701 Church St., Moscow. The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted at the gates, which open at 5 p.m.
In addition to North Pocono and Dunmore, bands and marching units from several regional school districts will participate, including: Lakeland, Mid Valley, Northwest, Valley View, Wallenpaupack, Western Wayne, West Scranton, and Scranton. Each group will perform its halftime field show. Program books, featuring participating bands, will be distributed free of charge.
The Cavalcade of Bands is an exhibition-style performance where bands and marching units can performs their field shows for each other, free from judging criteria, timing, and other restrictions. There will be refreshments provided for participants and concessions available for sale to audience members. Additionally, t-shirts and air gram greetings will be sold at the event.
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.
Marywood University music, theatre, and dance department students recently participated in and received honors at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), which was held at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Shown from left are: Charles Gorden, M.F.A., associate professor of theatre and director of the theatre program at Marywood University; Melina Barry, sophomore theatre major; Ken Doyle, senior theatre major; Sarah Wagner, senior theatre major; and Tiffany Atkins, senior theatre major.