Gregg and Darin

Gregg Gelb, Director[/caption]Gregg Gelb, founder and musical director, lead alto sax (1990) Gregg’s efforts have played a significant role in the public’s exposure jazz as well as the furthering of music education in the state of North Carolina for many years. He and his groups have been a popular choice for concerts and dances.Throughout Gregg’s career he has received numerous awards and grants including a 1996 commission by the Duke University Institute for the Arts to compose dance music and the 1997 North Carolina State Arts Council Jazz Fellowship Award. In 1998 the Gregg Gelb Swing Band performed with the North Carolina Symphony for a Young People’s Concert that was televised by WUNC-TV featuring Gregg’s compositions. In 2000 he arranged and recorded with the Swing Band the soundtrack to the documentary, War Zone, also aired on WUNC-TV. He has performed with Claudio Roditi, Mark Whitfield, Bill Charlap, Butch Thompson, Sir Roland Hanna, Jon Metzger and other top jazz artists. Gregg has produced four CDs of the Swing Band and co-produced three CDs of Group Sax. In 1992, he co-founded the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, a professional big band.
Pat Gallarelli, tenor saxophone (1997). Pat grew up in northern New Jersey and moved to North Carolina in 1979. He has been playing saxophone off and on in various bands since high school. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and an MME (Master of Mechanical Engineering) from North Carolina State University. Pat is currently employed as a mechanical engineer at IBM in Research Triangle Park. Pat’s other interests include bicycling, sailing, backpacking, classic VW’s and walking the dog.
Darin Knapp, baritone saxophone (1994). Darin, an Associate Professor in the Psychiatry Department at the University of North Carolina, has been the orchestra’s 2nd alto sax player since 1994 and the baritone sax player since 2001. His earlier musical experience includes playing in stage and concert bands while in college. He has previously served as secretary of the Society and now serves as a board member for a second term. Darin is also on of the originators of this web site and a webmaster. A native of Port Allegany, PA, he moved to Chapel Hill in 1992 after completing graduate studies at Rutgers University. When not playing with the orchestra, Darin conducts research into neuro-adaptive mechanisms following brain injury or chronic exposure to therapeutic drugs or drugs of abuse.
Charles Shermer, alto/tenor saxophone (2001) Starting on clarinet in grade school, Charles later switched to saxophone and played throughout high school and college in various big bands, small jazz combos, and pit orchestras. After moving to Raleigh in 1994, he has continued his involvement in music by studying privately and performing with community based groups in the area. As a member of HOCJO, he is inspired and challenged by the group’s high-level of musicianship. Charles is a Senior Engineer at BD Technologies where he designs medical products.
Don Larson, alto saxophone (1993). Inspired by his parents’ record collection, Don started playing alto in fourth grade. In high school he was fortunate to hear many big bands at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier in the Ocean Ballroom. Among these were Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Woody Herman . While attending Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Don joined the Left Bank Jazz Society which presented jazz greats at the Famous Ballroom in weekly concerts. Many of those concerts are now available on CD. Don has presented jazz artists in local schools and performance spaces. These artists include Claudio Roditi, Mark Whitfield, Jon Metzger, Gregg Gelb, Butch Thompson, and Bill Charlap. He is a past president of the Society and a builder/developer with projects ranging from the rehabilitation of historic structures to the building of new homes.
Robert Hill, trumpet (2005). Rob Hill is the band director at Union Pines High School in Cameron, NC. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and a master’s degree in music education from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia.
He has also taught middle school band and orchestra, and is a former Army bandsman trumpet player, having served in the 82nd Airborne Division Band at Fort Bragg, NC. While in the Army band, Mr. Hill was section and group leader, responsible for training instrumentalists in their military occupational specialty, which included instruction for instrumental performance in the concert band as well as on the parade field as a drill and ceremony marching band section leader. Also, while in the Army band, Mr. Hill played the solo book for the jazz band and performed frequently with the brass quintet and jazz combo groups at many high profile functions. Mr. Hill has received the Fiesta-Val Award of Distinction for his notable contribution to musical excellence, and the prestigious William D. Revelli Concert Band Award of Distinction for top ensemble, overall, in competition in Chicago. In addition, his ensembles have consistently received superior ratings at numerous marching band competitions and state festival contests in all graded levels of music, where they have also taken many Grand Championships.His bands have also competed across the country and were recently invited to perform in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C, a very prestigious honor.
Mr. Hill has served as the Southeastern District Honors Band guest clinician and is currently the district’s high school representative for Music Performance Adjudication at the state level. He is also an Ambassador for the United States, and was part of the 1st music education delegation to China. He is currently the Tri-M Honorary Music Society adviser for Union Pines High School and is a member of Music Educators Nation Conference.
Mr. Hill is also a freelance trumpet player and is currently playing the lead book and solo trumpet books for the Heart of Carolina Jazz Band, the SCC Jazz Band, the Eddie Barrett Big Band, the Gregg Gelb Swing Band, and the Tom Bernett Swing Street Band. Mr. Hill also is a member of the Moore Brass Quintet and plays the trumpet frequently for many local community events to include performances by the Moore County Choral Society, Moore On Stage, the Temple Theater and the Cape Fear Regional Theatre. Mr. Hill resides in Whispering Pines, North Carolina with his wife Carole and their three young sons, Nathan, Andrew, and Landon.
Steve Callas, trumpet (2005) Steve is from Raleigh, NC, and starting playing trumpet in the 5th grade. His dad was a piano tuner and Steve used to help rebuild and refinish pianos as a kid and well into his 30’s. He attended Berklee College of Music and NC State and went on the road playing Top 40 and Beach Music in the mid 1970’s, traveling in about 20 states. He came back to Raleigh in 1986 and started tuning pianos with his father but eventually fell into the insurance business where he actually made a good living for the first time in life. He now works in estate planning and is playing again after a 15 year layoff. Steve also plays with the St. Frances’ Methodist Church Brass Band in Cary and the newly formed Holly Springs Jazz Band. Steve is an avid tennis player. I’m having the time of my life!
Lee Davis
Joel Leipzig, trombone. Not sure where he came from. He wandered in, we fed him. He plays. That’s all we know.
Don Wazenegger, trombone (1990). Don Wazenegger, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, is a mechanical engineer for Eaton Cutler-Hammer in Fayetteville. He hopes to keep his day job. He is almost a charter member of HOCJO, having joined a few weeks after its first rehearsal. Don also plays in the Lee County Community Orchestra, and occasionally with the Sanford Brass Group/Little German Band, and rings handbells with the Brick city Belles and Beaux. In his spare time he enjoys reading and collecting model cars and would love to own a real antique automobile someday (something between a Model T and ’53 Chevy might do).
Steve BolecheckBass: Stephen Boletchek Bassist Stephen Boletchek studied performance, theory, and composition at Virginia Tech. He played for 7 years with the Washington D.C. based hard bop quintet The Big Beat. After moving to North Carolina, he joined the rhythm section of Marie LeBleu & the Comitz, an indie jump blues and swing group lauded by Billboard magazine in 2002. Stephen currently performs in a variety of jazz groups in and around Raleigh, NC.”