COMPOSER, RONALD DEGRANDIS
The Pennsylvania March
A March to an American First in Pennsylvania
We pitched senators to initiate the government process of accepting The Pennsylvania March, composed by my brother, Ron DeGrandis, to become the official State March of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This eventually led to the creation of State Bill 113.
“The idea for The Pennsylvania March came from a close friend who enjoyed my compositions,” Mr. DeGrandis said. “He discovered that no one has ever composed a ‘Pennsylvania March’! The Pennsylvania March is an American “first.” Although every state except New Jersey has a state song (Pennsylvania’s dates from 1990), few, if any, have a march in the grand tradition of America’s brass marching and circus bands! Our state only has the Pennsylvania Polka and the song, Pennsylvania 6-5000. So, I sketched out musical ideas on the piano over the last two years and developed the final composition. As you listen to the March, you’ll hear the rhythmic motif of the word Penn-syl-van-i-a throughout the composition. The March is dedicated to the memory of John Jankowich.”
Ron remarked that his music was inspired by this Commonwealth's diverse cities and landscapes. He described the March as "...a tribute to honor our glorious state. This march is in the style of John Philip Sousa. It is played by a band and is an instrumental piece of music." Prior to his composition, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has never had a tune in the traditional American march genre.
Ron is an avid composer and has previously created commemorative marches for the 250th Anniversary of Northampton County, the one hundredth anniversary of the Crayola Crayon Company, The Spirit of Youth March for the PMEA District 10 Elementary Band and Orchestra Festivals, and for the PMEA Intermediate Band and Orchestra Festivals. Since 2014, Ron has been commissioned to arrange pieces for the Allentown Symphony Young Musicians String Festival including Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky.
As with other musicians, we worked to create a "first" in Pennsylvania. To accomplish this, we needed to maintain and actively promote a strong public relations program to ensure that the state government houses heard his music. We contacted all dignitaries, which included local senators, congressmen, and the Allentown Mayor. We promoted an exciting event to publicly present 'The Pennsylvania March' premiere, performed by the Marine Band of Allentown, on September 16, 2018, West Park, PA. To commemorate the historic day, we requested proclamations from Governor Wolf, Senator Pat Toomey, and Allentown Mayor Ray O'Connell, who also proclaimed the day as "Ron DeGrandis Day." To continue Ron's exposure to the public, we generated various radio interviews and had the March played on air, which received radio and broad press coverage that extended as far as Hawaii. To further enhance Ron's presence, we quickly created a website to promote the Pennsylvania March and all of his other compositions, which may be viewed at www.rondegrandismusic.com
THE CAPTURED AUDIENCE
Currently, SB113 is in process to name the Pennsylvania March as the official march of Pennsylvania...together, we're creating a mark in Pennsylvania history!
Premiere Performance of
The Pennsylvania March
The Marine Band of Allentown
September 16, 2018
Click the Pennsylvania Seal to buy the Pennsylvania March!
Marta Gabriel, Regional Manager Lehigh Valley, Office of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, Ron DeGrandis, Allentown Mayor Ray O'Connell
Ron's sister, Trish, who initiated the PA March Marketing-PR campaign, which included its presentation to the state Senate Bill 113 process for its consideration and acceptance as the official Pennsylvania March.
PA Senate Bill 113
Inaugural Pennsylvania March Press Release
The Pennsylvania March premiere performance audience in West Park
"I am thoroughly impressed with, and want to express much gratitude for Trish Doll’s Marketing-PR efforts! Her press release and work for my concert premier created tremendous interest in all media, including NPR Radio, TV/radio stations, social media, on-air interviews, and news articles, reaching even as far as Hawaii! Trish's work brought forth attendance by our US senator and Allentown mayor, as well as proclamations from the senator, mayor, and our governor for my composed “Pennsylvania March”. And all of this happened during the first 5 days of the press release! I have also received new work and website orders. It all was definitely much more than I ever expected. As her logo states, "Publicity Works!”
- Ron DeGrandis