On October 28 the great and the good of Niagara Falls and western New York gathered at the historic Rapids Theatre for the second annual induction ceremony of the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame.
First year Rochester Institute of Technology Electrical Engineering student Michael Sanders returned to provide some musical entertainment on the keyboard prior to the ceremony.
The Chicago tribute band Beginnings opened the ceremony with a performance. The band originated while the guys were still in high school in 1971. For their Hall of Fame performance, all seven of the original members performed on the stage. The band was introduced friend George Edwards.
Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame member Tom Gariano served as the emcee for the ceremony.
Drummer and founder of the Calato Drumstick Company – Joseph Calato – was inducted by his daughter Carol. After beginning the company in his basement and selling his innovative drumsticks to friends, Calato has taken the company to an international business that still has its headquarters in Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster issued a proclamation naming October 28 as Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame day and the Hall of Fame as the official authority on local music and musicians.
After a greeting from NFMHOF President Peter Paonessa Jr and a short In Memorium video paying tribute to those who have paved the way for future generations of musicians the Legacy members were inducted. Ron Corsaro, Gregory DeDario, Donald Gais, John “Spider” Martin, Frederick “Freddy” Morucca, Natolo Parella, Anthony “Tone Palone” Paonessa, Felix Viscuglia, and Stephen J. Wieloszynski Sr all received posthumous inductions with family members on hand to take the stage and receive the plaques.
For the remaining inductees…
NFMHOF President and professional drummer Peter Paonessa Jr was introduced by his wife Patty.
Musician Christina Custode introduced her father and trumpet player Lewis Custode.
NFMHOF member Tom Gariano introduced singer and former Boston member Mark Dixon.
Musician Bob Volkman introduced guitarist Carl Filbert.
After a video of congratulations from Nashville’s elite including Ronnie Milsap, Tanya Tucker, and Charlie Daniels; John Carey introduced drummer Jack Gavin.
His aunt Margo Shagholon Martin introduced drummer Frank Geractiano.
Friend Bob Drozdowski introduced the first of two brothers being inducted – keyboard player Jeff Jeckovich.
Captain Beyond guitarist and Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame inductee Jamie Holka introduced the second Jeckovich brother – guitarist James.
Musician and friend Frank Frocassi introduced multi instrumentalist Perry Novak.
And closing out the 2018 list of Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame inductees, NFMHOF Board Secretary JoAnn Simon introduced multi instrumentalist and songwriter Marcangelo Perrcelli.
It was an afternoon filled with music as many of the inductees performed on the stage, often joined by fellow musicians and former band members.
And while the resident ghost did not make an appearance, a draft was sometimes felt near the stage.