The treasure that is Dr. Gerald Aloisio

Alyysa Bunde
Staff Writer

Dr. Gerard Aloisio, Chair of the Music Department, radiates with a genuine joy not just when in deep discussions with music-related focuses but also in sharing his love for life and his family.  

With some people, you can sense when their joy is forced but with Dr. Aloisio, it is who he is, just like the music that flows from him. 

Dr. Aloisio’s voice rings across the auditorium when he lectures and reflects his passion and interests, for music. His booming voice is music itself and captivates students in how he enunciates his words. His jolly personality is as generous as his music knowledge. 

As for his favorite genre, Dr. Aloisio said that he doesn’t have one. “I like it all,” he said, then with a laugh and a smile, he joked, “I’m a glutton that way.” 

When asked about how he carries his voice, he mused over the question before he answered. At first he didn’t know but then a memory jogged about the time when he was a night club disc jockey all during his years in college. The person who trained him had Dr. Aloisio read from a newspaper. As he read the newspaper, the trainer would turn the music up and tell him that he couldn’t hear him until he could read clearly. The experience provided him with the resilient clarity while he lectures or even when he is speaking to an individual one-on-one.

Dr. Aloisio attended College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and acquired his bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees. 

“I liked what I did and I kept studying because I studied with the best teachers around and played in the best ensembles I could,” he paused, smiled, and added with a chuckle, “It seemed like there was no reason to stop.”

His instrument of choice is the trombone. Because of his drive for music, he states he has plenty of time, including the summer, holidays, and weekends. Although music is his heartbeat, he implied that sometimes passion isn’t enough.  

“You have to want to do it and you look for places to do it,” he said. He participates in any band in any opportunity that arises, from charity fundraisers to church services, to dance bands, to community events like parades. 

“They’re all good, they’re all different, but they’re all fun,” Dr. Aloisio added. “It gives you different exposures to different kinds of people.” 

When the holidays roll around, the foods and the music have a connection, in Dr. Aloisio’s eyes. Just like his music tastes, he appreciates all kinds of savory foods from other cultures. This Thanksgiving Dr. Aloisio’s family decided to cook a Jamaican meal called “Ja-making-me-thankful,” with dishes from that culture just because they want to do it. 

“And red striped and rum cake!” Dr. Aloisio added, then laughed. “My son said, “If the Pilgrims would have landed in Jamaica, this is what they would have had.”” 

But Dr. Aloisio glows with equal enthusiasm about Christmas. 

 “Christmas is probably my favorite because I like to cook and I like to eat,” Dr. Aloisio said. “I think we like holidays because we have good memories with them. Christmas was the big family holiday in my family growing up that had lots of things involved with it.”

While Dr. Aloisio was growing up, Christmas meant a certain meal every year: shrimp broiled in the oven, Italian sausage, peppers, and certain pastas that went back generations.

When The Reporter inquired about what he listens to during Christmastime, Dr. Aloisio responded, “Again, you like the things you grow up with, I think. My father was a World War II era guy and he liked listening to Sinatra, Dean Martin, and so I listened to music recorded by all these guys. My son likes them too.” With that said, Dr. Aloisio said that he appreciates and likes Elvis Presley more now since he didn’t grow up with him because his parents weren’t that interested in him.

“My sisters were newborns in the 50s and by the time I was born, there was different music,” he said. “I kinda missed it.”

As for music that he enjoys playing, he said he used to like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. But because of its political incorrectness, he can’t—or at least, not as often.

“I may still listen to it and not tell anyone,” he laughed. In his opinion, the origin of the people who first sang that song meant no malicious intents and flirted with each other in a good-natured, innocent manner. “I think that’s how it was meant,” he added, “But in this day and age, it’s not taken that way, and I understand that. People have the right to choose what they want to listen to and that’s fine.”

Header photo courtesy of Dr. Gerald Aloisio.

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