Biography of Frank Zappone

Frank Zappone started his interest in drumming back in 1964.

Born and raised in Torrington, Connecticut, he came from a family that had many musical interests stemming from piano, organ, accordion, concertina and alto saxophone.

It was his grandparents who noticed early on that he would become the “noisemaker” of the family. The typical visits to relatives for Sunday dinner would always find him sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor after dinner surrounded by pots and pans using wooden soup spoons as drum sticks. Needless to say, his grandmother wasn’t too thrilled about this. After all, the kitchen belonged to her and everyone else stayed out! His grandfather on the other hand just laughed and said “Leave him alone. He’s having fun and someday, he is going to learn how to play the drums.” His grandfather’s quote would become reality.

In 1964 at the age of four, Frank was introduced to a local drummer also from Torrington. He was giving drum lessons at a local music store called Modern Music which was located on Water Street. This would be the beginning of a life long passion.

This would also be the beginning of private drum lessons that would span fifteen years starting from 1964 through 1979.

His teacher and mentor would be Mr. Jerry Carillo.

During those years, his studies would encompass the fundamentals of reading, writing music notation and the development of sight reading which not only touched practical compositions on practice pads but would eventually span the drum set, orchestral drumming and ultimately rudimental.

His experiences included involvement in the stage bands, orchestras, jazz bands and marching bands during his elementary school years. He would eventually go on to perform with the Waterbury Youth Symphony as well as the Torrington Civic Symphony.

Additional interactions provided through the efforts of Mr. Carillo would occur with performers such as Professor Al Lepak of the Hartford School of Music and Mr. Art Perretta of West Hartford.

Frank’s drum corps experiences began in 1971 when the Torrington Vagabonds Senior Drum & Bugle Corps reorganized as an all age’s parade and exhibition unit. He would perform with the Vagabonds until the fall of 1974.

In 1975, at the recommendation of Mr. Carillo, Frank joined up with the St. Peter’s Drum Corps where he would hold membership until the fall of 1979.

At that time, he was also a member of the Torrington Musicians Union performing with the Larry Cyr Orchestra from Thomaston.

He was accredited with earning himself numerous awards for rudimental drumming which included compositions for drum duet and quartet.

Additional rudimental drumming exposure would occur with tutoring under Vic Kulinski.

From 1980 through 1982, Frank would hold membership with The Connecticut Hurricanes from Shelton. After 1982, he would step away from the ranks of DCA and revisit his roots with St. Peter’s.

In 1984, he joined up with The Connecticut Alumni Senior Drum & Bugle Corps and would eventually join ranks with The Newington Drum Corps where he would perform until 1995. At this same, Frank organized The Drum Company Marching Percussion Ensemble which comprised of strictly main battery percussion performing at local firemen’s parades.

In the early spring of 1996, Frank came up with the idea of a drummer without a band. Put simply, a solo drummer.

This would be the beginning of what spectators called The Lone Drummer.

For the past eighteen years, Frank has performed solo in over 80 parade events spanning five neighboring states. Performances also include various charities and festivals.

Those performances include:

The New London Arts Festival

Stand By Me – Cancer Survivors – Waterbury, CT.

Alzheimer’s Society – East Lyme, CT.

The Litchfield County Chapter Telethon for The St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

The International Festival of Arts and Ideas – New Haven, CT.