When he was just four-years-old, Alexandria, Virginia native Geoff Gallante found his older brother’s trumpet and immediately became enamored with the instrument.
By age six, he’d already appeared as a guest soloist with the Louisville Orchestra, Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Philadelphia Brass Quintet and others.
The 16-year-old prodigy has been an anthem performer in 16 pro sports arenas and a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC’s Today Show and the CBS Early Show. He’s performed in 34 states.
“My parents got me lessons. They were really good about realizing my potential,” Gallante said during an interview with the News Journal Tuesday.
“They made sure I had everything I needed.”
Gallante said there is no shortage of teachers in the area of Virginia where he lives, close to Washington, D.C. The problem … finding anyone who was willing to teach a four-year-old how to play trumpet.
“That’s an unbelievable young age for someone to be learning trumpet,” Gallante said. “Nobody really trusts you. Trumpet is one of the hardest instruments there is to play. It’s very hard. It’s so unforgiving. Playing it is just a constant battle. My parents got mocked for trying to give me lessons so young.”
But, their diligence paid off. Only a couple of years after picking up the instrument for the first time, he was starting to play it publicly.
Saturday, he will be able to count Williamsburg as another of the communities he’s visited on his way to becoming one of the most respected trumpet and flugelhorn soloists in the nation. He will be performing at the Gatliff Chapel as part of the Fine Arts Association of Southeastern Kentucky Inc. annual concert series. The show beings at 7:30 p.m.
Just a junior in high school, the unassuming Gallante is big on talent and personality. Audiences around the nation have been captivated by his charisma and ability. The precocious teen phenom said anyone who attends Saturday’s performance is in for a special treat. None of the musicians involved in the quintet, who will be playing at the show, is over the age of 20.
“I’m really excited about this. We are going to be playing jazz from the Great American Songbook. We are going to play some Stevie Wonder. We are even going to play some new stuff that I wrote myself,” Gallante said. “We will be playing beautiful music. Music that respects the world and the moment.”
“During my shows, I like to become comfortable with people. The purpose of music is for it to get inside you. That’s the purpose of my music, to unify everyone listening and creating and for everyone to be together at the same time and realizing how great the moment is.”
Besides his performance for the Fine Arts Association, Gallante is also gearing up for the National Trumpet Competition being held in Denver, Colorado March 23. He is a semi-finalist in the nationwide competition.
If you are interested in attending Saturday’s show, tickets are available at the door, or online at www.fineartsseky.org.