Click a name: Dave Cannon, Amato Stellato, Todd Sahlroot, Kurt Lucas
Dave Cannon, Director
Dave officially joined the Olney Big Band in the spring of 2017. Born in Kensington Maryland, Dave began trombone studies in the 4th grade with Montgomery County public schools and with trombonist Doug Elliott. After graduation from Albert Einstein High School, Dave studied trombone at Montgomery College with Dr. Robert Tennyson and Dr. Donald S. Rheinhardt in Philadelphia. He earned is Bachelors of Music Degree in trombone performance from the University of the North Carolina School for the Arts in 1984 where he studied with Dr. Ronald Borror of the American Brass Quintet.
After graduation from UNCSA, Dave toured the U.S., Holland, Germany, and Poland with the Continental Singers and The Spurrlows. Upon returning to Maryland, he has freelanced as a trombonist in the Washington D.C. area. He has shared the stage and performed with Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Johnny Mathis, Roy Clarke, and Joe Williams and others. He has been a member of The Washington Redskins Professional Band, The Washington Savoyards Orchestra, Amaretto, Invitation. He has played many shows at the West End and Harlequin dinner theaters.
Dave also earned a Recording Engineer Diploma from the Omega Studios’ School for the Recording Arts and Sciences and became a staff audio engineer at Omega shortly thereafter. In 1999 Dave won a Grammy Award as an Audio Engineer for his work on the album “Christmas with Shirley Caesar”.
Currently , Dave is teaching music at Albert Einstein H.S. and as an Adjunct Professor of Music Technology at Bowie State University. During the summer months you may also find him playing in the orchestra pit for Montgomery College’s Summer Dinner Theater. In addition to playing with OBB, Dave is currently a member of The NoWhere Men Band.
Dave has been married to his lovely wife Dianne for over 25 years and has a son, Matthew and a daughter Allison. Allison is currently studying Ballet at his Alma Mater, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Playing with OBB is pure pleasure for Dave. He enjoys the professionalism and camaraderie of the band. “We are like family and I am happiest when I am playing music for people. My closest friends are musicians and OBB has a bunch of them.
Raised in the small town of Carle Place, NY, Amato started playing trombone in the 3rd grade and was fortunate to be involved with one of the best school music programs on Long Island. During these school years, Amato was a member of the marching band, orchestra, stage band, concert band, and various small ensembles. His “stage” band played big band music and that was when he became hooked on the Big Band Sound.
Amato went on to graduate from the University of Maryland and played in the marching band for a short time. Many years past, but he was always inspired by the band when attending the Redskins games and was amazed that the Washington Redskins had the only Pro Football Marching Band at that time. It was then that he decided to “pick” up the trombone again in hopes of being accepted some day as a member of the ‘Redskins’ Band.
In 2004, Amato joined the Olney Concert Band which led to being a member of the Rockville Concert Band, Rockville Swing Band, Montgomery Philharmonic, and the Olney Big Band.
He also played in the National Community Concert Band Sousa Festival that involved over 6 community bands from across the country and performed at the Jefferson Memorial. Amato also played in several Orchestra pits for community theater groups in the local area. More recently, he participated as one of the musicians of the Rusty Musicians Orchestra that performed with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Marin Alsop.
Born in Illinois, Todd moved to Maryland at age 12. He initially began trumpet studies in Montgomery County’s public schools, joining the Montgomery County Concert Band in his sophomore year. In the summer of 1972, he toured Europe for several weeks performing with the concert band in Germany, England, France and Luxembourg. In his senior year , he segued to the Montgomery County Jazz Band; jazz having won out over the concert hall. Then during his college years he spent two very enjoyable summers with a 4-piece combo at resorts in Wisconsin.
After a dozen years at the trumpet, Todd says he saw the light and switched to trombone. While he practiced slide technique at home, he eased his transition by playing valve trombone and euphonium with the University of Maryland Concert Band. After graduation, he pursued graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. At that time he continued working on the slide trombone honing his skills and playing with the George Gee Make Believe Ballroom Orchestra, at that time a student-run band that played for weddings, dances, concerts and the occasional radio show in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. George Gee went on to found the George Gee Swing Band, a highly successful organization based in Manhattan.
Later on Todd improved his trombone skills studying jazz improvisation with Randy Purcell, Maynard Ferguson’s lead trombonist. In 1985 he returned to Maryland and began studies with Donald S. Reinhardt, a well-known brass teacher in Philadelphia. He also performed with the pit orchestra at the Harlequin Dinner Theater for Sugar Babies, 42nd Street, and Camelot.
Over the years he has played with a numerous local bands in the D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to joining the Olney Big Band in 2011, he has been a member of the Richard Bray Orchestra and combo since 1985. Todd formerly worked as a statistician at the Food and Drug Food Administration in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Kurt Lucas, a native Marylander, has lived a life of music. He has played trombone professionally since 1966, and has academic degrees in Music Education (B.Sc., University of Maryland) and Music Performance (M.A., The American University). Kurt taught in the Montgomery County Public School system since 1975, and after he retired
in 2011, he became the Band Director at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts at Suitland High School in Prince Georges County, MD.
A member of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 161-710 since 1974, Kurt has played bass trombone with The Washington Jazz Battalion and union gigs with Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, the Temptations, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder, among others. In addition to being a member of the Olney Big Band since 2018, he currently performs with The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and has played tenor trombone with the M Street Brass Quintet since 1978.