OCC’s Southern Influence

East Tennessee State University's OCC connection (left to right): Frank Grosso, Dr. David Champouillon and Frank Grosso.
East Tennessee State University’s OCC connection (left to right): Frank Grosso, Dr. David Champouillon and Joe Riposo.

OCC’s signature Music department is one of the staples of the College’s long and distinguished history and on the night of December 4 it was on display in, of all places, Johnson City, Tennessee. On the campus of East Tennessee State University students, faculty and community members were invited to a jazz series concert titled, “OCC-TECH.” The concert featured three people with Central New York connections:

  • OCC Tech cropped flyerJoe Riposo on alto sax. Riposo is a legendary jazz educator, performer and alto saxophonist. He is a former instructor at OCC and director of music education in the Liverpool School District for more than 30 years.
  • Frank Grosso on tenor sax. Grosso is a graduate of Jamesville-Dewitt High School who was taught by Riposo at OCC. Grosso spent more than a quarter-century working as a public schools music educator.
  • David Champouillon who directed the jazz program. Champouillon is a graduate of Cicero High School and a former student of Riposo who earned his AAS in Music in 1979 from the College. Champouillon is now the Director of Jazz Studies, Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies and Bach Artist/Clinician at East Tennessee State University.

“Concert attendees were treated to some of what Central New York and OCC has contributed to music and jazz throughout the years,” said Champouillon. “For me it has been almost 40 years since I have played for Joe Riposo! To get to perform for Riposo, along with long-time friend and classmate Frank Grosso, will be a cherished memory.”