Music & Events

May 21, 6:30 p.m. at General McLane High School, Edinboro

JazzErie's 2014 edition of the Next Generation Concert will bring together area high school jazz bands and area professional jazz musicians for a great evening of music, inspiration and fun.  Event coordinator John Marszalek is still working out the details, but history tells us that it will again be a stunner.

The concert will be held at General McLane High School in Edinboro.  Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for students, children under 12 free.

Featured will be high school bands from Meadville, Conneaut Are, Harbor Creek, McDowell and General McLane.  Special guests will be gujitar wizard Frank Singer with the Misery Bay Big Band.

The 2014 JazzErie Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school student during the concert.,

 Remember last year's exciting concert, with JazzErie Scholarship winner Tim Tuglio and guest star Bruce Johnstone, accompanied by the Misery Bay Big Band, wowing the crowd?  The tune was "Stay Loose With Bruce," one of Bruce's solo vehicles with the Maynard Ferguson Band.

More surprises this year!  Sponsors are JazzErie and the General McLane Band Boosters.

John MarszalekArea educator, musician, organizer and JazzErie Board member John Marszalek has announced his retirement from his post as Band Director at General McLane High School in Edinboro at the end of the current school year.
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.

Following is a tribute to John written by past JazzErie president Ted Ely.

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

March 30, 2014