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Campus Update Ep. 45 | Dr. John Ginocchio

Published Friday, November 17, 2023


On this week’s episode, the Director of Bands at SMSU, John Ginocchio, gives us an update on the upcoming schedule of music events heading into winter break. Dr. Ginocchio tells us a little more about the different concerts and events taking place in the upcoming weeks. There are three concerts in November, on the 16th, the 20th, and the 30th. Coming in December, the SMSU Band, SMSU Chorale, and Southwest Minnesota Orchestra have concerts scheduled on December 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 9th. Each one with a special and unique theme. 

Additionally, Dr. Ginocchio shares with us the upcoming trip for SMSU Chrole. SMSU Chorale will travel across the pond to Vienna, Austria, and Prague, in the Czech Republic to perform in some of the most famous locations for the holiday season. 

For more information about the upcoming SMSU music events, please contact Dr. John Ginocchio via email at or via phone at 507-357-7209. 

Episode Transcript

Link to the audio file


00:00:00 Josh Goblish 

You're tuned into Radio 14K, MHL, as we welcome in film. Also VP for Government Relations, Communications and marketing. Bill. Good morning. How you doing today? 

00:00:07 Bill Mulso 

Good Josh, I'm doing great. 

00:00:10 Josh Goblish 

Did you have a good weekend? Good week. 

00:00:12 Bill Mulso 

Had a great weekend. It was a wonderful weekend. We had a ton of things going on on. 

00:00:15 Bill Mulso 

Campus so. 


Yeah, it was a it was. 

00:00:18 Josh Goblish 

A fun time diving into the winter sports season with some basketball wrapping up the football season. Now we get to head on into conference volleyball, correct? 

00:00:26 Bill Mulso 

Lots of things going on and John's gonna tell us here about. 

00:00:30 Bill Mulso 

Full slate of music events coming up too, so. 

00:00:32 Josh Goblish 

Yeah, yeah, no doubt. Sorry. I'm just a big sports fan. So, you know, I have to talk about sports, but the main topic of discussion today is indeed music. We do have Doctor John Ginocchio joining US director of bands at SMSU. John, how you? 

00:00:45 John Ginocchio 

Doing today, I'm doing great. Thanks for having me. 

00:00:47 Josh Goblish 

Yeah, that's good to hear. Now, we've chatted a couple of times, but you know, we do have a couple of big events coming up and we want to promote those a bit. But first, let's learn a little bit more about you kind of a little background and how long you been hanging out to at ask Miss you. 

00:01:00 John Ginocchio 

Oh well, I've been here. This is 18 years that I've been here at SMSU. Before that, I lived out in India. 

00:01:07 John Ginocchio 

Hannah, I taught out there for 10 years. I finished my doctorate at Ball State and SMS. You offered me a job and I've been here ever since. So. 

00:01:17 Josh Goblish 

Yeah, definitely a a great place to be. Now we do have the semester ending just a month away now. This is a very busy time for the music program. Can you tell me a? 

00:01:26 John Ginocchio 

Little bit more, we have a lot of things going on right now our, our, our students are just going out of. 

00:01:31 John Ginocchio 

Their minds with everything that's coming up, but. 

00:01:35 John Ginocchio 

You know, as far as the public is concerned, we have a lot of performances coming up, all almost every one of our music ensembles has a concert. 

00:01:44 John Ginocchio 

Coming up within the. 

00:01:46 John Ginocchio 

Few weeks they kick off this Thursday with our SMSU community concert band. This is a group that about half of the group is students from SMSU and the other half are just community members that love to play and want a chance to keep doing that. So it's. 

00:02:06 John Ginocchio 

Really, it's a really wonderful group to work with. We get to play a lot of great music and this concert is no exception. 

00:02:13 Josh Goblish 

Now, this concert band Illumination, that is illuminations in the Fine Arts theater at 7:30. What kind of songs? 

00:02:20 Josh Goblish 

Are we going to hear well the? 

00:02:22 John Ginocchio 

The theme of the concert is centered around the idea of how music enlightens us in various types of ways and gets us thinking about different things. 

00:02:33 John Ginocchio 

We have a a very diverse program lined up. We're playing music by a Japanese composer named Miyuki ODA. We're playing another piece by an Indian composer named Asha Srinivasan who actually lives over in Wisconsin now. 

00:02:52 John Ginocchio 

We're playing music by Vietnamese composer named Viet Quang, and just a lot of really great music from a lot of different types of composers. The music itself is really interesting and some really unique pieces on there. One of the one of the most unique. 

00:03:12 John Ginocchio 

That we'll be performing is by composer named Benjamin Dean Taylor. It's called seeds of glass and. 

00:03:20 John Ginocchio 

It's written for band with video projection, so basically there's a a video clip that will be projecting behind us that will be going along with the music that we're playing and the idea behind the piece is basically the idea of what if machines, what if a machine of glass? 

00:03:42 John Ginocchio 

Became, you know, had its own DNA and grew and developed. You know, the way, you know, organic life forms do. And so as in this video you it starts out with this little glass seed essentially. And then it develops into this gigantic glass machine. 

00:04:03 John Ginocchio 

The music that we play. 

00:04:06 John Ginocchio 

You know, kind of highlights that sort of mechanical feel to it, but it also has kind of a techno pop beat to it. So it's a really entertaining piece, really interesting. Another one that we're doing on there by Viet Quang is called Diamond Tide, and it's actually inspired by. 

00:04:26 John Ginocchio 

A A science experiment that he read about in a journal. 

00:04:31 John Ginocchio 

Where the scientist managed to melt a diamond and you know it requires extremely high levels of heat as well as pressure. And in this article the authors hypothesize that the types of conditions required to melt a diamond. 

00:04:51 John Ginocchio 

Can be found on the surface of Uranus and Neptune and that got this composer thinking about, you know, the idea of oceans of melted diamond. 

00:05:04 John Ginocchio 

And hence the name diamond tide. So it's a it's got a lot of really interesting sound effects to it. 

00:05:11 John Ginocchio 

It's a it's a very unique piece and really a lot of the music that we're that we have programmed is unique in its own way, but very, very entertaining. 

00:05:22 Josh Goblish 

Yeah, sounds like a really cool. 

00:05:24 Josh Goblish 

Wi-Fi vibe. 

00:05:25 John Ginocchio 

Yeah, it does, yeah. 

00:05:26 John Ginocchio 

There I guess there is kind of that to this particular concert, yeah. 

00:05:30 Josh Goblish 

And I knew I mentioned sports for a reason, Bill, because, I mean the Mustang pep band, they're gonna be in concert here just down the. 

00:05:37 Bill Mulso 

Good segue. Yeah. Great. 

00:05:37 Josh Goblish 

Road, thank you so. 

00:05:39 John Ginocchio 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right. Next Monday at 7:30 in the theater, the. 

00:05:45 John Ginocchio 

The Pep Band will be performing. It's one of the few chances that we get to play our music from beginning to end, especially in this time of. 

00:05:53 John Ginocchio 

The year you know it's always kind of a challenge, you know, I get them started and then they stop after 8 measures and then oh, you mean we're allowed to keep playing? Yes. Keep playing, you know. But, you know, during football season, you only get to hear the songs kind of piece meal so. 

00:06:09 John Ginocchio 

This is a chance to get out and hear some of the music as it's intended. It's always a lot of fun for the band too, because we're getting ready for basketball season where we, you know, our performance during basketball games is quite different than it is during football game. 

00:06:26 John Ginocchio 

And so we do get to play quite a bit quite a bit more and it's a it's good practice for the band as well. 

00:06:33 Bill Mulso 

Little bit better weather conditions too. 

00:06:35 John Ginocchio 

Yes, yes. Although I will say the game this past Saturday was not nearly as cold as some of the November games we've had in recent years. At least it wasn't so cold that our instruments stopped working. We've had that happen before, so, but I I will say it'll be nice to get into a well regulated. 



00:06:53 John Ginocchio 

Atmosphere in terms of temperature. 

00:06:56 Josh Goblish 

Now with the PEP Band, I assume a lot of these students, maybe. Hey, can we play this one? This one's pretty cool. Do you get? 

00:07:03 Josh Goblish 

A lot of that. 

00:07:04 John Ginocchio 

Well, yeah, we do. Actually the most of the program is determined by the members of the PEP Band. There are certain pieces that I selected, usually the new pieces, we add new music to our folder every year. And so I always try to highlight the new music on this concert, but then in this case. 

00:07:24 John Ginocchio 

Out the other half of the concert is all selected by the students. 


So and you. 

00:07:29 Josh Goblish 

Mention you're finally able to play it from start to finish. How long of a concert are we expecting? 

00:07:34 Josh Goblish 

With this well, it's not. 

00:07:35 John Ginocchio 

Going to be really long, it won't be as long as, say, our concert band concerts or our jazz concerts. It'll be about 40 to 45 minutes and you know, the thing with Pep band music is that it's it just never stops. 

00:07:50 John Ginocchio 

You know you put the horn to your face and. 

00:07:52 John Ginocchio 

You're playing the whole song. 

00:07:53 John Ginocchio 

By the time we get done. 

00:07:54 John Ginocchio 

With 45 minutes. 

00:07:56 John Ginocchio 

I know I'm going to be hurting. 

00:07:59 John Ginocchio 

A lot of my students will too, so. 

00:08:02 Josh Goblish 

So once again, that is coming up on Monday, November 20th and then we wrap up with another event in the month of November on Thursday, November 30th. 

00:08:10 John Ginocchio 

Yes. Our of our two vocal ensembles, Alta Voce and the SMSU Glee Club will be performing a concert entitled A Winners Journey. 

00:08:21 John Ginocchio 

That is, on the last day of November, November 30th, it's a Thursday night at 7:30, and that concert is held at First Lutheran Church. I can't tell you a whole lot about that program because, well, I don't have to direct that group, so I have enough trouble. Keep track of what I'm doing, let alone what the choirs are. 

00:08:40 Josh Goblish 

So there you go. All we need for the folks at home to do is just write that down on your calendar Thursday, November 30th. 

00:08:46 Josh Goblish 

Once again, at the first Lutheran Church, Showtime starts at 7:30. Yeah. 

00:08:50 John Ginocchio 

And you know, if you if you don't, can't write it down right now, we do have our concert schedule posted to our website as well. So you can find it there. 

00:08:58 Josh Goblish 

Alright, very, very good. And then now on to December, we really only basically get a day off and then December 2nd, you're right at it again. 

00:09:06 John Ginocchio 

That's right, yeah, December 2nd, we have one of the. 

00:09:11 John Ginocchio 

Well, one of the largest performances that we do in any given year, that is our very Prairie Christmas performance, this this year, we will have the SMSU community concert band, the SMSU Jazz Ensemble, Alta Voce a this SMSU Glee club and the SMSU Corral. 

00:09:30 John Ginocchio 

They'll all be performing on that particular concert. It happens at 3:00. 

00:09:37 John Ginocchio 

On Saturday, December 2nd, in the past we have had a couple years where that got snowed out or iced out on us, so we do have a weather date. If the weather is. 

00:09:49 John Ginocchio 

Bad on that. 

00:09:49 John Ginocchio 

Saturday and we have to postpone. We have the backup date set for Sunday, December 3rd, also at 3:00. 

00:09:58 John Ginocchio 

And that takes place in the Schwan Community Center for the Performing Arts over at Marshall High School. 

00:10:03 Josh Goblish 

Now do you know how long you guys have been performing this? 

00:10:06 John Ginocchio 

Concert. Well, actually this this particular performance, this the idea behind this concert predates me coming to SF. 

00:10:14 John Ginocchio 

Issue it was it was actually a program that was put together by Doctor Daniel Ripple, the conductor of the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra. He created it. I don't even know exactly how long it had been going on before I came to SMSU about 1617 years ago. 

00:10:37 John Ginocchio 

We started it originally was just an orchestra performance and then we started adding in first the Jazz ensemble and then the Glee club and eventually turned this into a kind of a program wide program. And it's been that way. 

00:10:53 John Ginocchio 

For probably about 15 years or. 

00:10:56 John Ginocchio 

So now and yeah, so. 

00:10:59 John Ginocchio 

It's always. 

00:11:00 John Ginocchio 

A really fun concert for us to do. It's a great concert for people to come to, particularly if you haven't been to too many of our performances before. It's a great one to start with because you get to hear basically. 

00:11:14 John Ginocchio 

A little bit of everyone on that concert. 

00:11:17 Josh Goblish 

And finally on to the rest of December. It's not like we're getting any breaks because once again, your rate added once again December 4th, yeah. 

00:11:24 John Ginocchio 

Yeah, well, you know, we gotta get all these in before the semester ends. So yeah, December 4th. That's a Monday night. The Jazz Ensemble will be doing their concert of the semester. They've had several performances already this semester, but this is our the one concert that we have. 

00:11:43 John Ginocchio 

This semester, where it's designed for people to actually come and pay attention to what the Jazz ensemble is doing. Very often we play in settings like the university gala, where we're serving as background music, which is. 

00:11:57 John Ginocchio 

Very appropriate for the type of music that we play, but this is 1 where you get to really focus on what we're playing. The concert is entitled music that moves you and the whole idea about this. All the music ties into all the different ways that we think about movement. So we have music that is transportation. 

00:12:18 John Ginocchio 

Related. So we're doing an arrangement of vehicle which was recorded by the Ides of March back in the 1970s. We're doing blue train by John Coltrane. We're doing. 

00:12:34 John Ginocchio 

Caravan. So we're doing pieces like that. We're doing other pieces that relate to just how we move things like dance pieces. We're doing a piece called chocha. What gotcha by Michael Philip Mossman, who is a previous guest of ours here. 

00:12:53 John Ginocchio 

We're doing another piece called lambino. Other types of just movement we're doing walk don't run leapfrog. 

00:13:03 John Ginocchio 

So you know, just about any way you can think about we how we move. Well, we've got some music that sort of ties to it and it just gives us a chance to play a lot of really fun music written by some great jazz composers. 

00:13:17 Josh Goblish 

Once again, then it will be coming up on Monday, December 4th and then less than 24 hours later. You guys are gonna be hanging out at the Holy Redeemer. 

00:13:24 John Ginocchio 

That's right. And that will be the southwest Minnesota Orchestra's annual holiday cheer concert. 

00:13:31 John Ginocchio 

Shirt. That one starts at 7:00. Unlike most of our performances that start at 7:30, that one starts at 7:00 at Holy Redeemer Church, like you said, featuring, you know, music performed by the full Southwest Minnesota Orchestra as well as usually some small groups thrown in there as well. So. 

00:13:50 John Ginocchio 

And then what's coming up? Just a few days later, and then the well, the last performance that we have for this semester is our annual Tuba Christmas concert. This is something that we got started about. 

00:14:03 John Ginocchio 

Eight or nine years ago here at SMSU. But this is actually the 50th anniversary of Tuba Christmas. It was started back in the 1970s by a gentleman named Harvey Phillips. Harvey Phillips was the professor of Tuba at Indiana University, and he founded. 

00:14:24 John Ginocchio 

Tuba Christmas as a way of. 

00:14:26 John Ginocchio 

Celebrating his teacher, his teacher was a a wonderful tuba player named William Bell, who played in the NBC orchestra under Tuscani and William Bell was born on Christmas Day. 

00:14:40 John Ginocchio 

  1. And so when Harvey was thinking about how he would want to honor his former teacher, it seemed like a a great way to go. And he started that. And actually I had a chance to play under Harvey Phillips when I was at India University as a member of his what he called his tuba Santas.

00:15:01 John Ginocchio 

It's actually one of some of my favorite memories from college was playing in that, so I was really glad when we were able to get that started here at SMSU. And you know, the first year we did it, we had about 12-15 people that played last year, we had about 35. 

00:15:19 John Ginocchio 

And it's actually one of the largest. Last year, it was one of the largest tuba Christmas celebrations in this part of the country. They these happen all over the place. There's one usually in Mankato, one in Saint Cloud. There's one in Sioux Falls, usually one up in the cities as well. 

00:15:39 John Ginocchio 

And so it's really great that we can have one out here in southwest Minnesota. 

00:15:44 Josh Goblish 

Now, who can participate in this? Because you mentioned it started out at a small number. It's kind of been. 

00:15:49 Josh Goblish 

Growing. How does that work? 

00:15:50 John Ginocchio 

Well the performing group is open to ours is traditionally it's just for euphonium and to the players, but we allow trombone players and hopefully Harvey forgives me for that. If not, I'll hear about it in the afterlife, I'm sure, but. 

00:16:10 John Ginocchio 

Yeah, it's open to all low brass players and it really doesn't matter. 

00:16:15 John Ginocchio 

How long you've been playing, how good you are? Just come on out. You know, if you're a really great player, the music is really wonderful, highlighting instruments that often in ensemble settings get really boring parts. I have to say from my own personal experience. 

00:16:36 John Ginocchio 


00:16:38 John Ginocchio 

And if you're, you know, if you're just starting, it's a great chance to get out and play with some other low brass players. And even if you can't play everything that's in front of you, just being part of that group and hearing what a group like that can sound like and what they can do can be really inspirational. So we hope that a lot of people will join us again this year. 

00:16:58 Josh Goblish 

Comes to selecting music for tuba. Christmas is your selection kind of limited with what you can play. 

00:17:04 John Ginocchio 

Well, it is actually because there is a very specific collection of music that was arranged specifically for tuba Christmas. Harvey Phillips contracted with. 

00:17:18 John Ginocchio 

One of the the great composers and arrangers of the time for low brass. At that time his name was Alec Wild. 

00:17:26 John Ginocchio 

And Alec arranged about 20-5 pieces of music, traditional holiday Christmas music for Harvey. Ironically, Alec Wilder also died on Christmas Day, so it's also turned into a celebration of. 

00:17:46 John Ginocchio 

That composer, then, years later, a student of Harvey's Norland Bulley, wrote another 1:50. 

00:17:55 John Ginocchio 

12 arrangements that have become part of that collection as well. So you know we don't play all of those pieces during the performance, but we try to mix it up and do some different things every year. 

00:18:08 Josh Goblish 

So we're accepting pretty much anybody that has that well brass instrument. 

00:18:12 John Ginocchio 

That's right. Yeah. You know, if you can hold the low brass instrument in your hand, would love to have you. There is a fee for participating that we pay to the Harvey Phillips Foundation, which really coordinates all of these things. It's a $10 fee to participate in the performing group. But the concert, which will be held at 2:00. 

00:18:33 John Ginocchio 

Block that Saturday, December 9th in the upper level of the SSU Student Center. The concert itself is free and open to the public, so everyone's even if you're not a low brass player, there's a lot of great music to enjoy. If you are a low brass player, we will have a rehearsal at 10:00 and. 

00:18:53 John Ginocchio 

That day in our band room on campus just show up somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00. We'll get you checked in and we'll get ready to do some planning. 

00:19:03 Josh Goblish 

Definitely looking forward to that once again Saturday, December 9th, the Tuba Christmas concert. And also it looks like the SSU Corral is going. 

00:19:12 Josh Goblish 

Embarking on a European concert tour, is that correct? 

00:19:15 John Ginocchio 

That is correct. They will be leaving town, I believe. December 13th. I think that's Wednesday of our finals week. They will be traveling to Prague and also to Vienna and they will be performing in a few different locations as well as taking in the sites and some of the places that they're going to be performing. 

00:19:36 John Ginocchio 

And will be performing in the and I'm going to pronounce this completely wrong. The Schoenbrun Palace Christmas market. 

00:19:45 John Ginocchio 

They will also be performing in Festival Hall in Vienna and also in Melky Melk Abbey, the Melk Abbey church took me three tries but I finally got it. So yeah, they've been working on this trip. Well actually originally this trip was supposed to happen. 

00:20:05 John Ginocchio 

In December of 2020, and we all know what happened in. 

00:20:08 John Ginocchio 

2020 and so yeah, that's. 

00:20:09 Josh Goblish 

We got too much snow, right? Exactly. Yeah. 

00:20:12 John Ginocchio 

Yeah. So the trip had to be postponed. So we're really glad that they're finally able to to do this trip. And I know they've been looking forward to it. 

00:20:23 John Ginocchio 

They have the Marshall Community and the university have really supported their plans for this trip and have helped with some costs. And I know that they appreciate all the support of the SMSU community and the Marshall Community as well. 

00:20:40 Josh Goblish 

I mean, imagine traveling to Vienna in Prague just before Christmas. 

00:20:44 Josh Goblish 

Yeah, it's going to be something really special, that's for sure. That sounds really awesome. Doctor John Ginocchio, we appreciate the time here today. Any other concerts down the stretch or or what else do we got or are we taking? 

00:20:46 Bill Mulso 

Great experience for those students. 

00:20:56 John Ginocchio 

Well, you know, I. 

00:20:57 John Ginocchio 

Mean we have a lot of our. 

00:20:58 Josh Goblish 

A break after that. 

00:21:00 John Ginocchio 

Traditional things that we do in March, the Jazz ensemble will be hosting another guest artist, our guest artist for this year will be Tom Scott, who has played with all kinds of people. And I actually didn't find out until later he actually performed with the Blues brothers, just like last year's guest. 

00:21:20 John Ginocchio 

As we. 

00:21:21 John Ginocchio 

So we have programs like that in April. We have a whole weekend set up for SMSU music alumni to come back and join us. The SMSU Community concert band, as well as the SMSU Corral will each be doing concerts. 

00:21:41 John Ginocchio 

That weekend and we will have an alumni band, an alumni choir, available for people that want to come back for that as well. So we're really looking forward to welcoming a a large number of SMU alums back to campus to see what the music program has been up to. 

00:21:59 Josh Goblish 

I'm sure we'll be chatting with you a little bit further down the road just before that, just to learn a little bit more, appreciate the time here. Once again, we'll talk again down the road. 

00:22:02 John Ginocchio 

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

00:22:08 John Ginocchio 

Alright, thanks for having. 

00:22:09 Josh Goblish 

Me and now we switch it back over to Mr. Bill Moser, the VP for Government Relations, Communications and Marketing. Because you have a bunch of stuff happening on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University. 

00:22:18 Bill Mulso 

Yeah. In addition to all the fun music events we've got going, it's international Education Week. So we have a number of different things that our international community is sharing with our broader community. We have a taste of cultures. 

00:22:30 Bill Mulso 

Which is an opportunity to kind of learn about a country and enjoy some of the cuisine from that culture. And that gets started this afternoon, again with Zimbabwe will be featured and that'll be at 4:00 in the lower level. 

00:22:42 Bill Mulso 

Of the conference. 

00:22:43 Bill Mulso 

Center, so come out as a short program. You learn a little bit about Zimbabwe and then experience some of the cuisine from Zimbabwe. 

00:22:50 Bill Mulso 

Tomorrow will be the Dominica and Colombia again, that also is at 4:00 in the lower conference summer and then Thursday afternoon, same time Sierra. 

00:23:00 Bill Mulso 

Leon will be featured, so stop by and check that out if you can RSVP to the Center for International Education at SMS, that would be great. Just go online at and then on Friday it's the international gala and that'll be from 6 to 11 in the Conference Center. That evening includes international Ted talks. 

00:23:20 Bill Mulso 

International Cuisine entertainment, a fashion show. And then. 

00:23:24 Bill Mulso 

Josh you can show. 

00:23:25 Bill Mulso 

Off your dance moves too if you'd like so. 

00:23:28 Josh Goblish 

All my dance moves I learned from Fortnite. 

00:23:30 Bill Mulso 

Ohh there you go. There you. 

00:23:33 Bill Mulso 

Tonight we kick off playoff volleyball. The Mustangs are hosting University of Minnesota Duluth, so come on out for that. It is white out, so be sure to wear white. And then also coming up the center of Innovation entrepreneurship along with the small Business Development Center. They're hosting a startup forum and that will be on Thursday. 

00:23:52 Bill Mulso 

The 16th and call the SPDC to register at 537-7386. 

00:23:58 Josh Goblish 

Very good. Bill, also VP for Government Relations, Communications and marketing. Also Doctor John Ginocchio, director of bands at ASU, joining us for the SSU campus update. Thanks guys. 

00:24:08 Bill Mulso 

Thank you, Josh. 

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