Joe Bello- Capitol Pride Symphonic Band Director
|Joe Bello has served as conductor of the Capitol Pride Symphonic Band since 2008, and was instrumental in forming the Capitol Pride Winds in 2009. While conducting, Joe relies not only on the baton, but also energy and expression to craft the desired sound. Joe honed his conducting skills while under the tutelage of Anthony Maiello at George Mason University (M.M. degree in conducting) and later went on to conduct performances with such groups as the George Mason University Wind Symphony and Orchestra, the Loudon Symphonic Winds, George Washington University Symphonic Band, Bishop Ireton Symphonic Winds, and many professional chamber ensembles in the DC locale.
Joe also performs as a professional euphonium player throughout the country. While pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree at University of Michigan, he was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Concert Artists' Guild. He is also a recipient of the John P. Paynter Scholarship and placed first in the Falcone International Euphonium Competition. As a euphoniumist, Joe has enjoyed the unique opportunity to solo with such groups as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Wind Symphony, University of Texas Symphonic Band, as well as numerous community bands all over the United States.
Instrumental and conducting performances require continual training, and Joe has sought out opportunities to constantly enhance and pass on his skills. In recent years he has had the pleasure of working with H. Robert Reynolds and Dr. Kevin Sedatole at the Michigan State University conducting symposium, and has also taught master classes in euphonium performance at the University of Michigan, University of Texas, and Purdue University. Pulling double duty, Mr. Bello was invited to perform as a soloist and conductor at the 2010 LGBA Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. In his spare time he takes pleasure in training for triathlons and is currently training for Ironman Arizona. Joe Bello resides in Washington, DC. You may contact Joe by e-mail and visit his personal website.
Zachary Parker- DCDD Marching Band Director
Zachary brings a strong history of LGBT Musical organization to DCDD's Marching Band. In 2002, He was the co-founder of the Mid America Freedom Band of Kansas City where he served as the conductor and executive director until moving to Washington, DC in 2006. During this time, the group grew to over 40 musicians and he started The Rests, a support staff of volunteers to assist the band. He also organized and directed the marching and pep band at multiple LGBT and community events throughout the Midwest during his tenure. You may e-mail Zachary here.
Zachary plays french horn, baritone and trumpet with DCDD's Capitol Pride Symphonic Band and mellophone with Carolina Gold Drum & Bugle Corps. He has also served on the board of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, most recently as Vice President from 2007-2008.
Beth Smith- Assistant Conductor
Beth is starting her seventh year with DCDD. She graduated Magna cum Laude from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, with a B.A. in Music Education. She was a school band director in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for 17 years and the Artistic Director of the Minnesota Freedom Band (a LGBA band) for four years.
Beth played euphonium in the Bloomington Medalist Concert Band, the Minnesota Symphonic Winds, and the Lake Wobegon Brass Band. She was also Alto section leader in the Twin Cities Women's Choir.
With DCDD, Beth plays euphonium in the Capitol Pride Symphonic Band and Capitol Pride Winds, and trumpet in D.C. Swing! and Marching Band, including participating in the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Parade for President Barack Obama. While providing Assistant Conductor support to all these ensembles and the conductors she also serves as Administrative and Artistic Coordinator. Beth resides in Maryland, close to band friends. You may e-mail Beth here.
Chris Raitzyk- Director of DC Swing!
In 1983, Chris joined her first Gay band - the Charm City Brigade in Baltimore, which only served as a springboard to involvement with many other bands. Chris realized the value musical ensembles bring to communities, and was a founding member of Freedom Swing, in San Diego, California. Her efforts to form this group brought the Big Band Era to the Gay and Lesbian communities on the West Coast. She went on to play saxophone in her brother's ensemble - The Michael Raitzyk Jazz Orchestra.
Chris returned to the DC Metro area where she became involved with DCDD. In 1995, Chris started DC Swing! and under her guidance, leads an ensemble in Big Band Era music and other popular music genres. Email Chris here.
Former DCDD Artistic Directors
- Jerry Johnson - 1980
- Judith Heisel - 1981
- Gerald Walker - 1982-1985
- Michael Resnick - 1986
- Nantz Rickard - 1986-1988
- George Fulginti-Shaker - 1988-1992
- Marcia Diehl - 1992
- Kurt Carr - 1993-1997
- Richard Sargeant - 1997
- Charles Butler - 1998
- K. Scott Barker - 1998-2008