AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Joe Pellegrini has been the director of the Youngstown area community concert band since 1990.
Pellegrini has had a love for music since he was about 10 years old. That’s when he started playing the saxophone.
“There were times when if it wasn’t for band in high school, I wouldn’t have gone to school. I just loved it,” Pellegrini said.
Pellegrini graduated high school at the height of the Vietnam War and then enlisted in the Army Band Program. He got his degree in music education at Youngstown State University and taught in Austintown for his entire teaching career.
“I feel like my whole life I’ve been lucky,” Pellegrini said.
He’s still at Austintown once a week now for the community band’s practices.
“Here I am 33 years later, and I have no desire to quit,” Pellegrini said.
Karen Lapidus is the president of the band. She says Pellegrini is passionate about the community. He even started the “Holiday Concert Of Giving” which raises money for Second Harvest Food Bank each year. Pellegrini said the project started in 2011 in partnership with Stambaugh Chorus and since then, they’ve raised over $53,000.
“He really makes everything fun, and he’s funny. He pushes us but in a real kind, warm way,” Lapidus said.
Pellegrini has made an impact on students all the way to seniors with his passion for music.
“I love conducting. I love performance. I love going out and just making people happy with the music we make,” he said.
You can see Pellegrini conduct and the band perform multiple times throughout the year. Check the band’s calendar for dates.