Mario's eldest child, took the reins of the band of renown and it's
obvious she learned well as an apprentice to her father. Her influence
has been pivotal to what the orchestra is today. She’s worked
to incorporate a youthful edge, bringing in more contemporary music,
funk, rhythm’n’blues and client-picked songs. Family is
also her primary focus. She exudes energy and excitement for what
the group does and her undisguised adoration of the band is endearing.
Mario DeSantis continues to perform alongside the various incarnations
of the DeSantis Orchestra, and helps Maria run the business, even
though she officially bought the business 20 years ago.
The orchestra members’
ability to be flexible and perform between small groups to a full
orchestra, depending on the event, is key. At times, Maria will send
out only a pianist and singer, while at others, a group of 15. Sometimes,
she’ll send both.
Their summer schedule will find them busy, playing events including
the Finger Lakes Festival on June 24, a Solvay Geddes concert on June
28 and, interestingly, a concert commemorating the 65th anniversary
of Armory Square on Aug. 11. The orchestra also performs annual concerts
including the summertime Candlelight Series in Armory Square and a
Christmas-themed show each December. See the
full schedule here.
Adapted from the cover story "Father Knows Best" written
by Jessica Novak and published as the cover story in The Syracuse
New Times May 15th 2012 edition.
here to read the story in it's entirety.