About JazzErie

Sat., June 7, 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., McLane Church

John Marszalek by John Huegel

General McLane Band supporters to honor John "M" Marszalek at Jazz Brunch on Saturday June 7, 2014

As part of the GMHS Music Program's "M" retirement weekend,, long time General McLane band director John J. Marszalek will be honored at a Jazz Brunch on Saturday June 7th at McLane Church in Edinboro, PA, from 10AM until 1PM.

To order a ticket online: https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/communicate/eventtickets.action?auctionId=215813772#.U1cTFSDkVB8.facebook

Influenced Thousands.

"M", as he is known by his students, has served a long career of 39 years in the General McLane School District as band director. During his tenure, thousands of students have participated in his marching, concert, jazz and other programs, and his influence on local marching, jazz and other performing arts is well known in the community.

The brunch will feature several jazz performances by groups comprised of students, alumni and local professionals who have performed with "M" over the years.

Brunch Tickets.

 Limited tickets are available at $25 each, and include a buffet brunch.   After May 24, tickets will be $30.
 Proceeds benefit the "M Fund", a scholarship endowment of the GM Foundation, a 501 (c)3 nonprofit, which will benefit students and music faculty at GMHS for years to come.

 Tickets are available online at: https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/communicate/eventtickets.action?auctionId=215813772#.U1cTFSDkVB8.facebook,

"M Fund" donation information and weekend event schedules are available at http://gmmusic.net.

For media or other inquiries, contact John Huegel at 814-881-2840 or johnhuegel@jhphotomusic.com

John's contributions as an educator, musician, organizer and JazzErie Board member are noted in the brief history below, by former JazzErie Board President Ted Ely.
Among many other activities, John has been a key member in the presentation each year of a “Next Generation” concert, featuring area high school student bands, their mentors, and outstanding area professional musicians.

Early Years.

John was born in McKeesport, PA in 1954. He went to high school at Bishop Boyle Catholic High in Homestead, PA. His father worked in the steel mills in Pittsburgh.
His father played the violin by ear and loved music. John initially played the violin, and took lessons in grade school.
Gen. McLane student jazz band at Tri-C
However, he became more interested in the alto sax. He bought a used sax while still in high school. Soon afterwards he decided on the clarinet.  In high school, John played the alto sax in jazz bands.  His interest in Jazz was heavily influenced iby jazz concerts that his father took him to. He recalls going to the Civic Arena and seeing Woody Herman and his band, and in going to Jazz Clubs in Pittsburgh and seeing Stan Kenton play the Ebony Concerto by Stravinsky.  He listened to other artists like Benny Goodman and Phil Wilson and imitated their style.

John worked in the steel mill on summer, but, while still in high school, he decided that he would be a music teacher. John went to Edinboro University and graduated in 1975.  While there, he met his wife, Marilyn, who was studying to be a piano major.

Gen. McLane Jazz logoGen. McLean.

Amazingly, John got a job at General McLane right out of college as band director. He has been band director and has held other teaching posts ever since for a total of 39 years.  His wife taught 4th grade in Edinbotro.  John and his wife have 3 daughters, all of whom play a musical instrument.

John has been a real proponent of the band and at one point had over 200 members in the General McLane High School Band. Several of his students have become teachers themselves.  A number of them are in the music business as either artists with other bands, as producers or other music related positions.


John is currently the co-chair of the Education Committee along with Chuck Lute and is a valuable member of the Board of JazzErie.  John is also a member of the Misery Bay Big Band with his wife. John is modest about his accomplishments and only admits to having “a great run of it.”  He and his wife plan to travel after his retirement becomes official in June.
JazzErie congratulates John on his achievements and wishes him the best on his retirement.

Ed. Note:  Among John's many projects at Gen. McLane were performances at a youth band workshop in Cleveland, at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), annual rehearsals and performances at JazzErie's Next Generation concerts, often involving mentorship of students by area professional musicians, and spectacularly, a joint project with Collegiate Academy and McDowell to field a joint student band of "JazzErie All-Stars" which performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.   

Next Generation brassJazzErie All-Stars on stage at Mpntreaux

by Ted Ely
March 29, 2014