Dr. Thomas Fraschillo, DMA
Emeritus Professor of Music/Director of Bands
The University of Southern Mississippi
Thomas V. Fraschillo, DMA, has served as a catalyst and mentor for members of the teaching profession. His high standards of performance have had a sustained influence on ensembles at every level, and his performances serve as models in both the professional or academic arena. Through his recordings, The Music of Luigi Zaninelli and The University of Southern Mississippi Wind Ensemble LIVE IN ITALY (recorded in Italy), and his publishing, conducting, and lecturing in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, he is considered an international musician/scholar. His publications, translations from the original Italian of Alessandro Vessella’s Studi di strumentazione (Instrumentation Studies), and La Tecnica dell’orchestra contemporanea (The Technique of Contemporary Orchestration) by Alfredo Casella and Vittorio Mortari, both published by BMG Ricordi, Milan, have put his name in libraries of the entire English speaking world. As a writer/scholar Dr. Fraschillo is a contributing editor to the American Grove Dictionary, 2nd Edition and serves as a frequent conductor and lecturer in Italy. His most recent appearances in Italy have been with La Banda dell’esercito/The Italian Army Band in Rome. One of his most significant engagements with them signaled a very important milestone for the Italian Army in that Dr. Fraschillo was the first American-born conductor to have been invited to appear in a public performance by what is considered Italy’s most prestigious military concert band. The concert with Dr. Fraschillo conducting was the opening concert of the International Festival in Spoleto, “The Festival of Two Worlds, Festival dei due mondi.” His appearance was enormously significant for conductors of bands in that the opening performance featured such international artists as Gian Carlo Menotti, the renowned composer, the Orchestra and Giuseppe Verdi Chorus of Milan, and the Italian actress, Claudia Cardinale. Finally, in Italy Dr. Fraschillo often serves as a member of the judging panel for many international festivals, most notably the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione “R. Marenco” di Novi Ligure, and the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Originale per Banda di Corciano.
Aside from Dr. Fraschillo’s work in Europe, he is often engaged throughout the continents of Asia, and Australia. The Melbourne, Australia, Summer Youth Music Program has invited Dr. Fraschillo to be their guest conductor for their summer session for five years. In addition the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association has invited him to lecture and to adjudicate at their large ensemble festivals. Dr. Fraschillo’s other work in the Pacific Rim includes having served as clinician and guest conductor of the Central Armed Forces Band in Singapore and as conductor of the Singapore All-College Band sponsored by the Wind Band Association of Singapore. In 2009 and 2010 Dr. Fraschillo served as Artistic Director for the weeklong Winter Band Festival at Disney, Hong Kong.
Dr. Fraschillo has recently been recognized by election to the National Band Association’s Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors, a distinct honor that recognizes his lengthy career as a public school, university, and professional conductor.
Dr. Fraschillo devoted a significant amount of his career to the education of young people in Mississippi. For example his ten-year tenure at Meridian High School was highlighted by a performance at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious music event for wind and string educators. The invitation was only the second to have been given to a band from Mississippi. Dr. Fraschillo’s Meridian students obtained successes not before reached, for he taught and helped place the first African-American students in the Mississippi All-State Band. Not only were they among the first minority members, but they were also the first African-Americans to attain the very highest positions in the group.
Dr. Fraschillo has attained a significant level in the realm of international leadership in that he serves as a past president of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, past president of the world’s largest organization for band directors, the National Band Association, and President of the CBDNA Southern Division.