PORT CHESTER N.Y. - Alex Ceruzzi developed a love for music coming through the Port Chester school district more than 50 years ago. Now 70, Ceruzzi retains the same joy for music and songwriting that he discovered many years ago in his hometown.
Last year, Ceruzzi released "Christmas Holiday CD and Song Book". A former public school music teacher, his musical roots date back to when he took accordion lessons when he was four years old. His first performance at the age of five was an accordion solo for all grades at Park Avenue Elementary School.
Alex's father, Alex, Sr. and his uncle, Frank Ceruzzi owned Ceruzzi Sign Company. Alex always enjoyed music and the best thing for him to do was to go to college and study music and earn his music teaching degrees, being that his mechanical skills were limited.
Ceruzzi, whose website is MelodyManMusic.com, developed into a recognized jazz musician with a jazz accordion style similar to jazz great accordionist, Art Van Damme.
Ceruzzi graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor and masters degree in music education. Alex taught instrumental and vocal music in schools including Prophetstown and Sterling in Illinois, and in Waterloo, Iowa and then retired from teaching opening up a transportation business, Royal Flush Shuttle Service.
He learned his trade as a choir director at his first teaching position starting in 1969 at Prophetstown High School in Illinois. There were only 300 students in the high school at that time, but Alex ended up with 110 of them in his concert choir, which performed yearly Christmas TV broadcasts. Alex moved on to teach at Newman Central Catholic School in Sterling, and later at East Waterloo High School in Iowa where his show choirs earned many superior contest ratings.
Ceruzzi has written songs that appear on all six of his CDs and song book. His first song was "Christmas Holiday" written in 1978 and was finally published in 2003. Alex has written four songs which have received Song Of The Year honors in the Song Of The Year international song writing contests: "Dumpster Diving' in 2010, 2011, and 2012, "One More Time" in 2013, "Christmas Holiday" in 2014, and "Jesus Forgive Me" in 2015.
"Once I had written 'Christmas Holiday' and had it finally published, I realized I must have a talent for songwriting," Ceruzzi said. "To write songs, you have to develop the music and then add the words which are almost always poetic."
His original CDs include many different styles, which are rhythm and blues, gambling, Christian, country, Christmas, tribute, and musical jingles.
Ceruzzi's songs are sung by Brian Glenn who performs with the Marty Stewart band, Debbie Thomas and Kimberlee Styles. Debbie Thomas sings. "Caylee Marie: A Remembrance", a tribute song Ceruzzi wrote for 2-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony of Orlando, who went missing in 2008 and whose skeletal remains were found in December of that year.
Alex's latest creation is "Christmas Holiday CD and Song Book," which was released in November of 2015 and was sold on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble Books, Mascot Books, and on Alex's website: MelodyManMusic.com.
The song book was well-received, being that the attached Christmas song CD could be listened to in a car, on a home stereo, or played as a person followed along reading the book.
What Ceruzzi did to produce "Christmas Holiday CD and Song Book" was to attach the CD to the inside cover of a hard covered book. The pages of the book are the lyrics to each song with illustrations surrounding the lyrics which coincide with what is happening in the song.
Ceruzzi, who now resides in Canton, Ga., always loved Christmas. Even at 70, he still gets excited when the Christmas season comes around. His perfect pitched ear or as he calls it "tonal memory," gives him the ability to hear the music as he looks at the written notes, and is able to retain tonal memory where he can think of melody lines and hear them in his head, which enables him to put notes on paper.
When Ceruzzi looks back, he believes the musical roots that he established in Port Chester gave him a lifelong interest in music. His school music mentors were Archie Jacobs, Richard Pisano, and Robert Renino. "It was born and bred in me,'' Ceruzzi said. "Music will always be a part of my life".
For more information and to order the Christmas Holiday CD and Song Book, click here to visit The Melody Man website.