Symphony No. 1
(click each movement to download an excerpt of the score)
Adagio con forza - Moderato - Subito vivace
Andante - Allegretto (Fuga) - Andante
Allegro - Maestoso - Allegro
Agitato - Allegro vivace - Lento -
Allegro moderato - Grandioso - Allegro vivace furioso
Mifflin Hills Music Publishing LLC
2075 Ridge Road • South Park, PA 15129-8804
From April to June 2020, Vito DiSalvo completed a longtime bucket list item of composing his “Symphony No. 1.” Composing this symphony and creating the virtual orchestral recording was DiSalvo’s ‘pandemic passion project’.
I have spent my life playing, teaching, arranging, composing and producing music, starting with learning the accordion at age four. Euphonium became my major instrument in college, having started baritone horn in the fifth grade. I have experienced the business side of music as well, owning, with my wife Lana, two publishing companies and a record label/artist management firm. Other than the summer after graduating high school, when I worked as a laborer in the open hearth of a steel mill, I have made my entire living doing what I love to do – music!
Typically, as one moves on in life, one has a bucket list; I had only one item on mine - to compose my first symphony. I have composed several symphonic band pieces, arranged music for marching bands, jazz bands, orchestras, and choirs of all configurations and all levels; I’ve scored music for film and have orchestrated the complete repertoires for several artists; but, other than the one orchestral piece that I penned in 1981 for my high school ensemble, I had not written an original work for orchestra. Composing this symphony then, I view, as a culmination of a lifetime of many, quite varied, musical experiences.
In 2015 I set out to satisfy my bucket list. As so often is the case however, life got in the way. I have sketched many themes since then, but only one would become relevant to this piece of music.
In March 2020, my life, like everyone else’s, changed dramatically with the appearance of the coronavirus.
I realized I hadn’t had a schedule like this since I was a child - no performances, no tours, no traveling, no teaching, no social life. So, with the good graces and support of my wife, I headed to my studio to compose my symphony. Within days, I felt like I was on a freight train with no brakes. I found it difficult to leave the space and did so only to eat and sleep. (I would never miss a meal since food is my second passion and Lana is a great ‘Tuscan’ cook!) I spent twelve to fifteen hours each day composing, orchestrating, and also recording my piece with the help of two extensive libraries of orchestral sampled sounds. By the end of the first week of June, I had completed the composition and recording.
With the help of my editor, Paul Silver, a highly experienced professional orchestral musician, I then set out to prepare the printed score and parts, a task that took nearly an entire year to complete.
I hope you enjoy performing my music as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it. I had an absolute blast writing this piece!!
Grazie mille e buon divertimento!
I would like to acknowledge and thank the following close friends and colleagues who lent their ears and musical prowess, offered feedback, and in some cases, suggestions to me regarding my Symphony No. 1.
I very much appreciate the time they took to listen and respond.
Lana; my wife, who has been my lifelong supporter and critic. Thank you for allowing music to be my mistress.
Paul Silver; my editor for this work – Viola, retired, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Gerald Unger; Percussion, retired, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Franco Sciannameo; CFA Distinguished Scholar & Teaching Professor of Music; Academic Division Chair, School of Music, Carnegie Mellon University
Fred Danchenko; Double Bass, former member Pittsburgh Ballet and Opera Orchestras, Music Educator
Daniel Silver; Professor of Clarinet, University of Colorado College of Music
Gretchen Van Hoesen; Principal Harp, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Matthew Litterini; French Horn, Pittsburgh Opera & Ballet Orchestras, Music Educator
Keith Bajura; Piano, Violin, Composer
Matt Welch; Trombone, Composer, Arranger
Nick Deutsch; Euphonium, Trombone, Music Educator
Ken Kovach; Bass, Sound Engineer
Ernie Pontiere; Trombone, Vocalist, Percussionist, Retired Music Educator
Tim Milko; Chief Sound Engineer for MHM Productions, Guitar,
Disc Jockey, Music Educator
Jim Anderson; Recording Engineer and Producer for Acoustic Music in the recording, radio, television, and film industries, Co-owner Anderson Audio, NY
Ulrike Schwarz Anderson; Recording, Mastering Engineer, Producer, Co-owner Anderson Audio, NY
Gina Morgano; Vocalist, Educator, Journalist, who helped with the liner notes for this project
Gina Galardini; my daughter - Graphic Artist, who created the cover art, layout & design of the program and CD recording
John Del Monte; Visual Artist
John and I have been friends for a long time and have always admired each other’s work. Over the years we have had the good fortune of meeting and dining together in Lucca, Italy where Professore Del Monte taught his Creative Art School for more than 47 years. In 2015, I casually mentioned to him that I was starting to compose my Symphony No. 1. John proceeded to write a beautiful letter encouraging me to complete the task and emphasized the words “melody, melody, melody!” I was honored to receive such a letter from a distinguished artist. John was so excited about the prospect of me writing this symphony that over the next five years he stayed in close touch, earning him the title of “my muse.” He introduced me at his famous breakfasts to many influential artists and supporters of the arts. He even offered me the use of his friend’s summer home in the mountains of Tuscany, suggesting I lock myself there for three months to compose. Unfortunately, because of my busy performance schedule, even an enticing offer like that just didn’t work.
In the summer of 2020, John, then 95 years young, was the first person I called to listen to the completed symphony. He is still drawing, painting and teaching to this day - a true inspiration for any artist.
P.S. Sample pages of the orchestral score are available at www.vitodisalvo.com. If you would like to view a copy of the entire score, please send your request to Lana DiSalvo at: email@example.com
MHM Writer/Artist JIM
GUERRA Releases Two Jazz
Jazz saxophonist and
composer, Jim Guerra
completed and released
two albums just before
the close of the 2009
HOLD ME, an album
that was in the making
for more than a year
contains two original
DEAR JOHN and MINOR DEE
and ten jazz classics.
Humphries, who played
drums on the original
recording of Horace
SONG FOR MY FATHER also
played drums on Guerra's
recording. Roger and
Jim have been friends
and have worked together
both as performers and
educators for many
years. More than thirty
five jazz musicians
including John Wilson,
Sean Jones, Roger
Humphries, Eric Susoeff,
Marty Ashby, Jay Ashby,
Mike Tomaro, Steve Hawk,
and Jim's son and
bassist, Jason Guerra
performed on the album.
John Wilson arranged
several of the songs on
the album and Mike
Tomaro arranged SOLAR
with Guerra arranging
the remaining songs.
Jazz Radio personality
Tony Mowad had this to
say about the album:
"HOLD ME" is a great
contribution to the jazz
idiom. Jim Guerra and
his impressive cast of
musicians convey a
plethora of ingenuity
with every sound
considered and perfectly
placed. With its
abundance of inspired
improvisation, "HOLD ME"
pulls no punches, takes
no prisoners, and
THE MUSIC OF JIM GUERRA
is a double CD of 24
original songs by Jim
Guerra. This album
offers the listener a
fresh approach to
Traditional Jazz. Again
using an equally
impressive list of
invites the listener
into 'his world' with
Both albums are released
under the MHM
Productions Label and
all of Jim Guerra's
music is published by
Mifflin Hills Music
"Congratulations to Jim
Guerra and his Musical
and Technical Team!!!"