Trombone Lessons

Richard Ardizzone

Richard Ardizzone graduated from Boston University College of Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Trombone Performance.  He holds a Masters of Education in Early Childhood from Tufts University.  Before transferring to BU, Rich attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a Music Education major and George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville as a Special Education major.  Rich and his family moved to Worcester in 1977, when he became Executive Director of Rainbow Child Development Center, a position he held for 16½ years.  Prior to moving to Worcester, Rich was a day care teacher and later the Preschool Co-ordinator for Cambridge/ Somerville Catholic Charities Day Care Program.  Ever an advocate for children, Rich served for many years as an active member of the Massachusetts Associated Day Care Administrators and the Worcester Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force. He has also served on the boards of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and the Grants Advisory Committee to the Worcester Arts Council.

While attending BU and Tufts, Rich worked nights and weekends in Boston, playing with a variety of jazz, Salsa and Latin bands, including the Paul Fontaine/Jimmy Mosher Big Band and the Brass Menagerie. He was also a member of Conjunto Azul, a Latin Jazz group that played as the house band at the legendary Paul’s Mall.  After moving to Worcester he became a member of the Rich Falco Quartet and the Sonic Explorers.  Rich left his position at Rainbow in 1994 to become Associate Director of the Joy of Music Program, where he was already volunteering and teaching trombone.

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Dan Gabel

Hailed by the Boston Globe as “the real deal, [a bandleader] that looks and sounds like the 1940s,” Dan Gabel is a trombonist, arranger, bandleader, historian, and educator. He formed his first band in the eighth grade and has dedicated his life and career to promoting quality live music. Gabel leads several of his own musical groups, including Dan Gabel and The Abletones (authentic 18-piece Big Band), The High Society Orchestra (11-piece Hot Dance of the Roaring 20s), plus various smaller groups and a Brass Quintet.

He has recorded and produced seven full-length albums, two video stage shows, and appears on countless other recordings. In 2017, Dan Gabel was chosen as the musical director of the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra, and created The Vaughn Monroe Show, 24-piece production transporting audiences to the 1940s.

A busy sideman, Gabel has toured internationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for over a year, as well as with the Tommy Dorsey, Cab Calloway, and Hal McIntyre Orchestras. He recently has been featured twice at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Newport Mansions “Art Deco Festival,” and as Music Director for several regional musicals.

Considered an expert on jazz, big bands, and the Great American Songbook, Gabel has lectured at colleges, universities, radio programs, scholar programs, and special events across the country including at Harvard, MIT, Clark, and Indiana University. Since 2014 he has served as the President and CEO of the American Big Band Preservation Society.

Dan Gabel holds two bachelor’s degrees from UMass Amherst in Political Science and in Jazz History through BDIC (Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration) Commonwealth Honors College. He received a master’s degree from New England Conservatory in trombone performance. As an educator, Gabel returned to his high school alma mater in 2014 and served six years as the Music Department Director at Holy Name High School until 2020. He also founded and directs the Jazz Program at Worcester Youth Orchestras, Inc. Dan Gabel is currently working on a biography and a musical on bandleader Vaughn Monroe. He looks forward to a career of preserving, promoting, and performing music for audiences everywhere. Dan joined the Joy of Music faculty in the fall of 2021. 

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Megan Roy Will

Megan Will graduated with a BM in Music Education from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music where she studied classical trombone under Timothy Conner and performed with the Frost Wind Ensemble under the direction of Gary Green.  At U Miami, she was recognized as Outstanding Graduating Senior and was inducted as a member of the Iron Arrow Society.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, Megan received a Fulbright grant to teach English and Music at Kazimierz Wielki University in Poland.  She worked with instrumental and vocal students at the university's school of music teaching small ensembles and private lessons.

Upon returning to the United States, Megan received her MM in Jazz Studies & Performance from William Paterson University where she focused on jazz voice, trombone, and jazz vocal arranging.  She studied under Pete McGuinness and John Mosca, and published her thesis, Polish Jazz: An Analysis of Style and Meaning in Krzysztof Komeda's Astigmatic under the advising of Dr. Timothy Newman.

Megan taught in private and public schools in New Jersey for 2 years before returning to her home state of Massachusetts.  She currently teaches choirs, beginning piano, and AP music theory at Wachusett Regional High School.  Her goal is to help students build fundamental techniques so they can more freely express themselves through music.  It is also her aim to make the learning process meaningful by relating other educational areas and cultural experiences through the study of music.  She joined the Joy or Music faculty in the spring of 2018.

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