Dr. Joel Greenberger has battled cancer for nearly half a century.
As a hobby, he’s a hell of a horn player.
As chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh, Greenberger treated patients and successfully added music to the mix, playing cornet and trumpet in ensembles such as the Allegheny Brass Band and the Pittsburgh Savoyers.
“I retired from clinical practice in July, so I’m practicing more now,” said the Squirrel Hill native who lives in Edgeworth. “I still have a lab. I’m developing drugs that reduce side effects for cancer patients.”
Greenberger’s dual talent makes him a natural fit for “Everyday Heroes,” the theme of the Pittsburgh Symphony’s first Fiddlesticks Family Concert for the 2022-23 season. Joining him as featured trumpeters is Stephen McGough, Lieutenant of Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Company, and his Bill Hughes of Pine, a registered nurse at UPMC Passavant — McCandless.
Melia Turangault, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Orchestra, said: “It’s great for kids to see these role models on stage and focus on music with them.”
The idea behind this theme also includes showing children that picking up a musical instrument can turn into a lifelong pursuit, said senior vice president of learning and community engagement. says Suzanne Perrino.
“Even if I do something else during the week, I can keep making music,” she said.
For Hughes, his time at Passavant represents a relatively new career pursuit. He completed his Nursing degree in 2020, finishing his studies in the early stages of the covid-19 pandemic.
But the music is constant, and so is his friendship with McGough.
“Steve and I have known each other since high school,” said Hughes while attending the Schaller area and McGuff attending North Catholic University.
They were also roommates at Carnegie Mellon University, where they studied under renowned trumpet player Anthony Pascarelli (1915-2011).
“One of the biggest things The Boss taught me and music taught me is dedication and perseverance,” Hughes said.
McGough, a faculty member of the music department at Peters Township School District, agrees.
“People talk a lot about talent when it comes to music, but the reality is that talent only determines where the initial plateau is,” he said. “It’s the people who really learn to dig and drive and work hard who succeed in an endeavor like this. And of course that goes for so many other things.”
Greenberger was another student of Pascarelli, who he described as “a wonderful second father to me”.
“I think of him every day. I miss him. I have a picture of him right next to the music stand where I practice.”
At the Fiddlesticks concert, Jacob Joyce conducts the orchestra and performs Leroy Anderson’s upbeat tune “Buggler’s Holiday” with Hughes and McGuff.
The show also featured the vocal talents of Mount Lebanon’s Katie Williams, including leading choruses of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”, written by Fred Rogers (1928-2003) as his bass theme. I’m here. – “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” in Pittsburgh.
Other songs on the program bring a similar appeal to youngsters, as Fiddlesticks has been noted for over 30 years.
“This is rooted in the basics and foundations of education and is a really nice, easy and casual way for families and young children aged 3 to 8 to introduce the orchestra,” said Turan Joe. rice field.
The “Everyday Heroes” concert is scheduled for Saturday at 11:15 am at the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts at 600 Penn Avenue in the Cultural District. Additional Fiddlesticks concerts will be held on February 18 with the theme “Arts All Around Us” and on April 29 with the theme “The Sounds of Nature.”
For more information, visit www.pittsburghsymphony.org/pso_home/web/fiddlesticks-family-concerts-2022-2023-landing.
Harry Funk is the news editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Harry at email@example.com.
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