With recent travels to Italy, Singapore and Hong Kong, Thomas V. Fraschillo has extended an already impressive international profile in the music world that spans Europe and the Pacific rim.
Fraschillo, a retired professor of music and director of bands for The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music, has mentored and conducted bands for the past 42 years. As past president of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and the world’s largest band organization, the National Band Association, he is recognized as an international scholar with a wealth of recordings and publications that can be found in music libraries all over the world.
He is frequently asked to participate in international music events that not only elevate his musicianship, but also increase the value and notoriety of his instruction at Southern Miss.
“Dr. Fraschillo is frequently invited to share his musicianship, knowledge and experience with musicians in international settings,” Dr. Michael Miles, director of the Southern Miss School of Music.
“These invitations are evidence of the respect and regard the international community has for his work. Whether as an adjudicator, clinician or guest conductor, Dr. Fraschillo represents Southern Miss at the highest levels of musicianship, and his national and international reputation provides an extremely positive profile for the School of Music.”
Last August, Fraschillo served on a seven-member panel for the seventh International Composition Competition “R. Mareno” in Novi Ligure, Italy. He was joined by composers from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Scotland. Upon his return to Italy in October, he judged the most prestigious composition competition on the continent, the 27th edition of the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Originale per Band, Edizione 2009 in Corciano, a suburb of Perugia. Both competitions award prizes of 5,000 to 7,000 Euros to the winning composers.
In December, Fraschillo journeyed to Asia to serve as artistic director for the Disney Winter Band Festival in Hong Kong. Sponsored by Rave Group, a marketing company based in Singapore, this festival is the largest of its type in Asia and is designed to provide primary to college level school bands with an educational and positive learning experience.
“Working in Asia is really special. My work there has given me an entirely new perspective on how we educate young people in this country,” Fraschillo said. “Needless to say, the musicians were incredibly talented and dedicated in a way that I try to instill in my students.”
While in Hong Kong, Fraschillo reunited with two Southern Miss graduates also working at the Disney Winter Band Festival: Toru Miura, ‘71, served on the judging panel with Fraschillo and Charles Thomas, Jr., ‘86, works for Disney as Youth Event Management Director.
“Miura and I had not seen each other since the 70’s,” Fraschillo said. “He is a professor of euphonium and wind orchestra at Kunitachi College of Music in Japan and one of the world’s best-known Asian low brass/euphonium performers. His accomplishments are a testament to the wide-reaching influence of the Southern Miss School of Music and band program.
“Charles has been with Disney for 21 years and is one of their leading people in Hong Kong. It was wonderful to see him and visit with him.”
Following his work in China, Fraschillo traveled to Singapore, where he was the featured conductor for the Singapore All-College Band sponsored by the Wind Band Association of Singapore. The group rehearsed for a week with Fraschillo and finalized the event with a concert prior to the U.S. Christmas holiday. Fraschillo is scheduled to leave for his next journey abroad on Jan. 14. He will return to Melbourne, Australia to serve as conductor and mentor for the Melbourne Youth Music Summer Music Program.
“My work in Asia and the Pacific rim began about five years ago with an engagement as conductor for this program. I have been there to conduct three times and it is wonderful to go to Melbourne in January because it is their summer,” Fraschillo said. “Western Europe, specifically England through Italy, are difficult places to work unless you build a reputation slowly and efficiently. I like to think that I have done that in my career, and look forward to continuing to do things throughout the world.”
Thomas V. Fraschillo, director of bands and music professor at Southern Miss. (Submitted photo)
While at the Disney Winter Band Festival, Southern Miss music professor Thomas V. Fraschillo (far left) joined Southern Miss alums Tom Miura (left), Charles Thomas, Jr. (far right) and Disney employees in a photo with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. (Submitted photo)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.