Man Of Music Shares Gift With Children

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Music has been in Robert Tarallo's blood his entire life.

The 74-year-old Payson man plays at numerous venues in the Rim Country and also teaches band at Julia Randall and Payson elementary schools.

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Robert Tarallo

Tarallo, who moved to Payson five years ago, got his first taste of the music scene when his father purchased a clarinet for him when he was 12 years old.

He said he fell in love with music at that time, listening to the big band sound.

"It was the popular music of the day," he said. The 1940s and the late 1930s was the big band era.

He added that his father exposed him to a lot of classical music, but he was better at playing popular tunes.

He said he was not an athlete as a child, so his exercise and concentration focused more on music.

"My father was my biggest influence on me playing the instruments," Tarallo said.

His junior high school had a small band and his high school, located in Philadelphia, had a marching band.

Tarallo, through the years, has learned to play the saxophone and is now learning the intricacies of the flute.

Tarallo, who worked for Bashas' for 35 years in the Valley, said he enjoyed music so much that he thought it would be a nice way to make some extra money as well.

"I thought that would be a good way to move along and make a few bucks at the same time," he said.

He said he has become more involved in music since moving from the Valley to Payson for retirement.

He said a day does not go by now where he will not play any music.

"I keep my clarinet and my saxophone set up (in the living room), and I play a few notes every day," he said.

The five-year Payson resident performs at day care centers and also sings with the Payson Choral Society.

He also plays in jam sessions in Strawberry and performs with the Old Tyme Music Makers.

He said the Old Tyme Music Makers is a way for musicians to get together to practice.

Tarallo teaches at the two elementary schools twice a week for two hours each.

He said when he was asked to teach band classes, he envisioned a real band.

"I didn't know they did not know how to play (the instruments)," he said, adding that they are learning the ropes of the instruments they have.

He said what is a little disconcerting is some of the children, who want to play a musical instrument, do not have one and cannot afford one.

Tarallo said anyone who wants to donate an instrument or funds for instruments should call him at (928) 468-6402 or the Payson school district office at (928) 474-2070.

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