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Gannon Orchestra Records History

Nine members of Gannon University’s Erie Chamber Orchestra head into the studio
Nine members of Gannon University’s Erie Chamber Orchestra (ECO) head into the studio this weekend for a
groundbreaking recording project featuring music from film legend J.S. Zamecnik.

This recording’s purpose is to shed a new light on the wealth of music contributed by Zamecnik to the fledgling oeuvre that
was film composition in the early 20th century. With titles such as “The Treacherous Knave”, “Evil Plotter”, “Waterfalls” and
“Defense of Honor”, Zamecnik’s music was used as the underscoring for thousands of cartoons, shorts and feature films in
the early part of the 20th century.
More specifically, in the Porky Pig cartoon “The Blow Out”, one can actually hear the exact music being played from the
song “The Treacherous Knave”, one of the 14 songs to be recorded this weekend.

These copies of the full orchestra parts of this music are believed to be the only ones in existence anywhere in the country.

This collection of music from Zamecnik, along with nearly 1,000 individual songs and underscoring from a myriad of
composers, was donated to the ECO’s founding conductor Bruce Morton Wright a decade ago. Discovered here in the
bowels of the university by then newly hired GM Weiser in the summer of 2012, this one-of-a-kind library was once feared
lost.

Now, with the help of author, Case Western professor, and worldwide Zamecnik expert Daniel Goldmark, both the region
and the nation will have the opportunity to discover the lasting impact Zamecnik has had on modern cinema, a role in which,
up until this point, he has been widely and embarrassingly overlooked.

These recording sessions are the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign this past winter, which saw General Manger
Steve Weiser and the ECO raise more than $5,000 from donors across the world. This method of crowd sourcing has
grown exponentially over the last few years, allowing smaller budget, non-profit organizations the ability to tackle projects
above and beyond their budgets.

The album, entitled “The Sounds of the Silents” is slated to be released this fall in conjunction with the ECO’s October 17th
concert featuring a live presentation of Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece “City Lights.”

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