Italian roots, American training.
Giuseppe left his home country with his family as a toddler, but he retained many aspects of Italian culture through his family experience. Overall quality was a constant theme, even when money was tight. Good homemade food, good (Italian) wine, and music (Italian folk song, pop, and Verdi) were all a vital part of his childhood and adolescence. Giuseppe's parents were very supportive of his clarinet playing when he first got started at age nine. They provided weekly private lessons that were essential to his development of fundamental music skills. These early lessons formed an important impression on him and form the basis of his philosophy of music education. Giuseppe was exposed to the idea of multiple woodwind playing through a very active high school musical theater program, in which he was able to perform in the pit orchestra. It was in these early high school years that he decided he wanted to be a professional musician, and began seeking more intense training. He began studying flute, clarinet, and saxophone privately with Robert DeBellis, who is a woodwind "doubler" and jazz musician in New York City. DeBellis showed Giuseppe how it was possible to be a fine player on multiple instruments and in all styles of music. This early breaking of musical boundaries was an eye-opening experience, and helped Giuseppe to develop an appreciation of all styles of music.
Giuseppe was accepted to study music education at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where he had many great experiences and was exposed to a world-class music faculty and surrounded by ambitious young music students like himself. While at Rutgers, Giuseppe developed an appreciation for vocal music, particularly Italian opera. This interest in the voice complemented a concept of sound production and expression that he was later able to transfer to his instruments. After completing his degree at Rutgers, Giuseppe went to continue his training at New Jersey City University. At NJCU, Giuseppe was taught primarily by Dr. Edward Joffe, who began the master's degree program in multiple woodwind performance in order to train young woodwind doublers and prepare them for performance careers in the music industry. After completing this intense two year program of study, Giuseppe entered the profession not knowing exactly what was to come. Shortly after graduating, he began freelancing on any engagement that came his way. This included classical performances, jazz ensembles, theater orchestras, blues bands, and everything in-between. He quickly realized that the training he received was vital to his ability to function in the music industry as a woodwind doubler. Today Giuseppe continues to perform with various ensembles and in recitals of his own.
Philosophy of Education
Music is a performing art. For this reason, performance-based education is most beneficial to a student's development as a musician. Music is also a skill to be learned, developed, and honed over a long period of time. Like a fine athlete, a musician must constantly maintain his skills in order to be successful. Music, however, is not a competition. It is an art form that can and should be judged for merit, but not scored or ranked like a sports team.