RUTH ANN SCANZILLO,
Professional Pianist / ‘Cellist.
Dear Readers of littlebarefeetblog.com:
A few have pointed out that I have no professional website; herewith a brief history of my work in the region, as a preliminary bio for the future website. Dates are occasionally approximate because, well, I’ve been around awhile and the memory isn’t complete….thanks!
Ruth Ann Scanzillo
PO BOX 3628 Erie, Pennsylvania 16508
DOB: April 26, 1957 814.453.3523; 814.881.5372
SUNY @ Fredonia, Fredonia NY
1975 – ’77 – Graphic Design/Printmaking;
1979 – ’81 – December, 1981: Bachelor of Music, Music Education, magna cum laude, concentration: cello – Dr. Louis Richardson, Professor of Cello;
1989 – ’94 – SAA Suzuki Summer Institutes, Stephen’s Point WI; Ithaca College, Ithaca NY; Chicago, IL; registered, Violin IA; IB; Cello, I, II, and III
1975 – rehearsal/performance piano, Footlights Theatre, Erie, PA
- “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown!” – Jane Behan, musical director
1982-83 – rehearsal/performance piano, Lincoln Theatre, Erie, PA
- “SUGAR” – Mark Moffatt, director;
- “HAIR” — Mark Moffat, director;
1984 – rehearsal/performance piano/instrumental ensemble director, Erie Playhouse, Erie, PA:
- “Ain’t Misbehavin'” – Leo Estes, John Burton, directors;
circa 1985 – rehearsal/performance piano, live scene underscoring, Erie Playhouse, Erie PA:
- “I Remember Mama” – Charlie Corritore, director;
circa 1999 – Piano I, Fredonia Opera House, Fredonia, NY:
- “The Fantastiks” – summer stock cast; Harry John Brown, music director;
1999 – 2000 – rehearsal pianist, Mercyhurst University D’Angelo Department of Music:
- “Song of Norway” — Louisa Jonason, opera director;
- “Don Giovanni” —– Louisa Jonason, opera director;
2000 – 11 – Production, direction, set design and build, live piano accompaniment and synth. keyboard underscoring, The Dillon Drama Club, Grover Cleveland Elementary School, Erie PA:
- Beauty and The Beast (final production assisting founder Carolyn Dillon)
- Wizard of Oz (2002)
- Annie, Jr (2009)
- A Christmas Carol
- A Christmas Story
- Spanky and Our Gang (two shorts, original staged adaptations);
- Star Wars (five movies, consolidated, original staged adaptation by verbal permission conference call w/ LucasFilm licensing);
- You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (2011)
2011 – rehearsal and performance piano, Mercyhurst University, D’Angelo Department of Music/opera:
- “TINTYPES” — Louisa Jonason, director (slated for August, 2011, West Bank Cafe, Manhattan. Hurricane Irene aborted); performed, September 11, 2011, Walker Hall, Mercyhurst University;
2015 – rehearsal pianist, “The Selfish Giant”, original opera by Stephen Colantti, Erie Opera Theatre, Brent Weber and James Bobick, directors;
2019 – performance piano, Keys 3, “MAMMA MIA!”, Cathedral Prep, Fr. Mik DeMartinis, director; Will Steadman, music director;
1986 – present: piano collaborator for juries, hearings, college recitals and concerto competitions:
- SUNY@Fredonia Conservatory of Music (1989 – 2008) – studios of Barry Kilpatrick, Marc Guy, Susan Royal, James East, Jack Gillette;
- Edinboro University music department (1999 – 2014) – studios of LeAnne Wistrom, Patrick Jones, David Sublette, Robert Dolwick, Howard Lyon, Brad Amidon, Anne Wintle-Ortega;
- Mercyhurst University D’Angelo Department of Music, vocal and instrumental performance departments (1999 – 2000; 2008-12) – studios of Louisa Jonason, Geoffrey Wands, Robert Dolwick, Chris Rapier, Alyssa, Scott Meier; and, with Shaun Pomer (1989) and Glen Kwok;
- Erie Jr. Philharmonic Eiji Oue Concerto competition (1989 – 2013) – violin; trumpet; clarinet; tuba;
- COYO Concerto competition, Cleveland, OH (2007) – cello; soprano;
- Young Artist’s Debut Orchestra concerto competition (2007-08) – violin;
2011-12 – rehearsal and performance pianist, vocal performance studio of Louisa Jonason, D’Angelo Department of Music, Mercyhurst University;
2019 – String Trio, Caryn Moore, vln; Sunny Saunders, vla; self, cello; works by Pleyel, Boccherini, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Massenet, et al;
including, but not limited to:
- Artunian; Bach; Barber; Beethoven; Bernstein; Bozza; Brahms; Britten; Creston; Chopin; Chaminade; Copland; Colantti; Dvorak; Franck; Grieg; Hartley; Haydn; Hindemith; Hummel; Ibert; Korngold; Loeffler; Mozart; Mendelssohn; Neruda; Piazzolla; Puccini; Rossini; Rachmaninoff; Ravel; Saint-Saens; Schubert; Schumann; Shostakovich; R. Strauss; Telemann; Vaughn-Williams; Wieniawski; Verdi; Von Weber; H. Wolf;
for the following instruments:
- soprano; mezzo; tenor; baritone; bass;
- French horn;
- natural horn;
- alto and tenor saxophone;
1989 – 2000 – Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestros Eiji Oue and Peter Bay; composers: Copland; Korngold, et al (film scores)
1986 – 2013 — section cello, Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, Erie PA, under maestros: Walter Hendl; Eiji Oue; Peter Bay; Hugh Keelan; Daniel Meyer; Jeff Tyzik; various additional guest batons;
1986 – 2011 — section cello/Principal cello/harpsichord, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Maestro Bruce Morton Wright;
2011 – 2018 — Principal cello, Erie Chamber Orchestra, maestros Matthew Kraemer and Bradley Thachuk, musical directors, and various baton candidates;
1999 – present: Principal cello, Bemus Bay Pops Orchestra/Chautauqua Pops Orchestra, Bruce Morton Wright and John Marcellus, musical directors; Chautauqua Pops Strings, Lenny Solomon, musical director;
Artist Pick up hires:
- circa 1987 – Johnny Mathis, Erie Warner Theatre;
- circa 1992 – Anne Murray, “
- 2008 – Clay Aiken, Erie Civic Center;
- 2015 – MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER, Red Tour, Erie Warner Theatre; 2020 – Green Tour, Erie Warner Theatre;
2019 – String Trio, Caryn Moore, vln/Rachael Brown, vln; Sunny Saunders, vla; self, cello; works by Pleyel, Boccherini, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Massenet, et al;
Other Work History:
1986 – 2011 — Public school music teacher, K – 12, School District of the City of Erie, PA – general/vocal and instrumental, including: marching band, choir, chorus, string ensemble, string orchestra, music appreciation, and special classes for the hearing impaired
1989 – present — Private studio teacher, Suzuki-registered cello (Books 1 – 4) and violin (Books 1 – 3).
2019 – present — RECAPITULATTI! Professional string trio: Rachael Brown, vln; Sunny Saunders, vln/vla; self, cello.
Scholarships and Awards:
1975 – Card-Catlin Art Award, Erie PA – portfolio adjudicated;
1981 – Gaeliewicz String Award, SUNY@Fredonia; Hillman Scholarship, SUNY@Fredonia;
1984 – S.A.D.I.E Award for Drama In Erie : Best Orchestra, “Ain’t Misbehavin”, Leo Estes/John Burton, directors; starring Wydetta Carter, John Burton, Michael Henderson, Tootie Howard, Marlene Spells…..
© 1/21/2020 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. I certify that the above information is true and accurate, to the best of my memory. John Burton may not have been a director of Ain’t Misbehavin’, but I believe that I am correct on all other points. Thank you.
Lisa worked in advertising.
Big, commercial advertising.
She was a music producer for Ogilvy & Mather WW, in midtown Manhattan.
And, she’d been my college housemate.
I can remember the accounts. Winter Olympics. Huggies Disposable Diapers. And, the piece de resistance: Folger’s Coffee…..the first, serial ad in anybody’s memory, complete with installments which brought a sweet couple together forever ( everybody hoped.) Hardly a word ever spoken. Just that knock on the door; a lot of deep, eye gazing; and, the music, underscoring the whole story.
Lisa was always quiet around people. Like, silent. Applied music/flute morphing into a degree in sound, she was an aural learner, storing endless loops of tunes and calling them to mind in an instant. Rising to rank after assisting Faith, who retired to open a B&B in Santa Fe, her working girl day began with meetings. The video would either already be complete, or clients sat at table describing what they envisioned. Within minutes, Lisa would have several ideas, heading to the agency library to pull four or five reels for their perusal. One chosen, the edit would begin.
She performed all this grandly important work in the name of international (they had offices in London and LA, as well) product presentation. And I, her loyal housemate all those years prior, wondered with admiration and pride. There would never be a TV ad, from that point until the big layoff after her David was born, that didn’t pique my attention and respect.
Last week, CNN was drumming along in the background as I finished the pre-holiday preparations. These days, what with the new pause and rewind options provided by cable, I was wont to mute and FF when the commercials kicked in.
But, this one caught me.
A certain, familiar insurance company having dispensed with its inane gecko for the holidays, the goofy lizard had been displaced by two humanoids. Seated shoulder to back on a laminate floor, faux [ electrically flickering ] fireplace behind, equally faux brass poke and stoke set alongside, laminate paneling, the gushing couple faced camera holding drinks. The only notable feature of the man being his Persian blue contac lenses, the woman by contrast was bedecked: polyester ski sweater over a starched, button down shirt, outsized faux coral hoop earrings, haircut overgrown just enough to have required large rollers for shape, jeans and, just as the camera pulled back – knee high, faux leather, heeled boots.
Their only dialogue byte to pull me out of my stream of subconscious was a reference to “starring in a real commercial”. Might it have been the angle of her jaw, or the artificial lilt in her voice? I stared, momentarily, at her face. Suddenly, it all came together.
Perhaps I’d taken one too many cheap flight connections from Detroit to parts east. Maybe fussed just a bit too much getting strapped onto my seat in coach. But, somebody was watching. Somebody who’d replaced one of Lisa’s coworkers in video all those years ago. I didn’t have to take any bait, from GEICO or anybody else. Somebody, as I stood in the shoot waiting for my orange ductape labeled Travelocity carry on, saw me and said: “Ope. There she is. There’s our girl.”
Cheese is a favorite of mine. I like them all. Brie; Havarti; Colby Jack; Muenster; Feta; Goat; New York Sharp. If you need cheese, or cheesy, just call me. I’ll be sitting by the phone, branded, waiting for the role of your lifetime.
c 1/1/19 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, somebody who looks exactly like the person she isn’t, and whose name appears above this line. Thank you for respecting original material.