Concert will honor late YSU bands director

Staff report


The Youngstown State University Concert Band and Wind Ensemble’s final concert of the fall semester will be at 8 p.m. Monday in Stambaugh Auditorium, and will be preceded by a tribute dinner in the venue’s Christman room to honor the late Robert Fleming, former YSU director of bands.

The goal of the dinner is to fund an endowed scholarship in Fleming’s name. YSU alumni band members are invited to participate in the Dana Alumni All-Star Band, which will perform selected pieces during the concert. Contact Stephen L. Gage at

Brandt Payne and Gage will conduct the YSU ensembles, and Joseph Edwards, Donald W. Byo and Gage will conduct the All-Star Band.

Tickets for the scholarship dinner, which will begin at 5:30 p.m., are $60 ($100 for two); email Catherine Cala to

Concert-only tickets will be $5 at the door ($4 for seniors and students, and free with a valid YSU ID).

Fleming’s passion for music inspired students and professional musicians alike. He instilled his trademark visual excitement and outstanding musical qualities in all of the bands he directed. Fleming led YSU bands from 1968 to1984, and his work helped elevate the university’s band program to nationally recognized status.

He started as director of bands at Warren G. Harding High School in 1958 and established a program that became a national model before moving on to YSU.

He joined the W.D. Packard Band in Warren in 1959 as a trumpet player and became co-conductor in 1983, serving until 2004. He also directed the Big Band Sound of Packard, the Packard Jazz Quintet, and the Packard Dixieland Band, and was instrumental in developing high school concert bands throughout the Mahoning Valley.

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