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State University of New York at Fredonia
Musicians – including alumni and former faculty of the State University of New York at Fredonia, as well as professional musicians from across the United States – will perform together in “Mad About Toms,” a concert of acoustic American music in tribute to Tom Tunney and Tom Stocky, Fredonia classmates from the mid-1970s, on Saturday, July 8, 7:30 p.m., at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St.
Both Toms, in their all too brief lives, dedicated themselves to academic excellence, social activism and making music. This concert honors those ideals and celebrates these two gentle souls.
Tom “Tommy” Tunney (1956-1976) grew up in Hudson, the youngest of four siblings who enjoyed a close relationship with his parents. He grew up listening to The Weavers, and as a teenager began his studies on the banjo. He was an Education major at Fredonia, committed to peace and social justice, and volunteered his time towards these causes. He was also an excellent banjo player and loved sharing music with friends.
Tom Stocky (1955-1980) was raised in North Tonawanda, the middle child of five. He was a double major (Chemistry and German) and graduated summa cum laude in 1977. A multi-instrumentalist and singer, he was selected as the Chautauqua County Minstrel in the spring of 1978. He played music for community events and in schools, day care centers and senior centers, and also wrote two songbooks “Songs in the Children’s Tradition” and “Protect the Innocent.”
Joyful and harmonious voices and superb musicianship – on banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass and piano – will be provided by John Kirk and Trish Miller of Saratoga Springs; Laura Knoepler, New York City; Jack Bowden, Missouri; Dan Duggan of Red Creek; Dan Berggren, Ballston Spa; Michael Bonsignore, North Carolina; Joe DeVeau, Hudson Valley; Mark Murphy, Pennsylvania; Dennis Bergman Friscia, Seattle, Wash.; Davy Sturtevant, Maine; Cathy Supple, Texas; Cheryl Ritch, Jamestown; and Carmen and Dick Gilman, Janet Gilman and Kathy Petersen, all from Fredonia.
A peace pole dedication will be held earlier on Saturday at the Fredonia College Lodge, Brocton, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Reservations for the accompanying luncheon can be placed online at https://give-to-fredonia.formstack.com/forms/thomas_stocky_and_thomas_tunney_celebration
Tickets for the concert, by donation, will be available at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Tom Stocky Scholarship established at the Fredonia College Foundation, and a social justice and peace organization, in the name of Tom Tunney.