The SIUE steel drum band opened at the Alfresco Performing Arts Center in Granite City, Illinois, for classic rock band “Age and Treachery,” in an event for the Missouri Illinois Musical Arts Consortium. 


Bryson Collier, a senior music education major from Bloomington, Illinois, plays the drum set for the band. Collier said he thought the performance went well.  


“I think it's always a good time to get to come out and play. Hopefully next year we would be happy with more of a large size crowd,” Collier said.   


Collier said he thinks live musical performances like theirs raise awareness for the arts. 


“In times like these there are [some] trying to cut programs. So the more [we’re] out here, the more they can see us, [the] more arts can stay in our school,” Collier said.  


Dan Smithiger, percussion director and co-founder and president of MIMAC, said the band performed at the Alfresco as part of their calendar of events throughout the greater St. Louis area. According to Smithiger, the events include ensembles, individuals and festivals.  


“We're planning a vocal festival, actually here at SIUE in February, co-sponsored by MIMAC. We did a marching percussion festival, which was cosponsored by MIMAC and we've got other festivals in the works in the planning stages,” Smithiger said. “We also host recitals or clinics, or just partnering with other organizations, just on music of all types.” 


Smithiger said he started MIMAC because he wanted an organization to fund and promote the musical arts, and the performance was part of their concert series. According to Smithiger, the performance was originally scheduled for September, but had to be rescheduled due to a break-in.  


"What I'm trying to do is do things in the various parts of the area. We started in Troy and then in July I did my recital out [at] Grace St. Louis Church,” Smithiger said. “We had a marching competition in Granite City.” 


Joe Cacciottoli, stage name Dirty Giuseppe, is the frontman of Age and Treachery. Cacciottoli said the band mostly plays benefit gigs, as they like to play original material. Cacciottoli played alongside his wife, Queen Anne, who plays the rhythm guitar, and bass player Mark Landon.  


"My influences are basically Blues and classic rock. I kind of cut my teeth back in the ‘70s, with a lot of guitar band type stuff, so we're heavy on the guitar,” Cacciottoli said.  


Cacciottoli said they were more unplugged than usual because the Alfresco had lost some of their sound equipment during the break-in.  


"We just said, ‘Hey, let's just play and see what happens.’ Then we started to play and then when the three of us finished, we’re like, ‘Wow, that sounds pretty good.’ I think we all had a good time and everybody in the audience seemed to be smiling,” Cacciottoli said.  


Cacciottoli said he thinks it’s cool to see people of all ages enjoying his music, as music cuts across culture and socioeconomic status.  


"We all come together and that's what [the] Community Center is all about, is a place for coming together and forgetting your differences and focusing on your commonalities,” Cacciottoli said. “We all are humans and we all have a lot in common, let’s celebrate that.”  


Chuck Noud, a member of the board of directors for the Alfresco Center and band director for the junior high school, said MIMAC was looking for venues for their monthly performance.  


“Alfresco came up as a place for us to perform because it's a wonderful venue, and I try a lot of times to bring groups to that venue, to showcase and to get more people to spend some time in downtown Granite City,” Noud said.  


Noud said he was taken aback by realizing he hadn’t listened to live music in a year and a half. 


“Obviously music is a part of everyday life for a lot of people, but actually sitting and listening to someone performing live, there's nothing quite like that,” Noud said. “Forwarding that opportunity to as many communities as possible is only going to further musical experiences that people are able to have.” 

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