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About Gerra Gembarosky

Gerra grew up in a family of musicians. Her grandfather, an immigrant from Italy, sang and played the mandolin and guitar; her mother was a singer, and her Uncle Al Pontremoli, was a jazz guitarist. He formed a band in high school with his childhood friend, Johnny Costa, most well-known as the jazz pianist for Mister Rogers. Both incredibly talented as teenagers.

Wedding Ceremony Musicians In Pittsburgh PAIt was Gerra’s mother, who early on in her marriage determined that music was going to be the focal point of her family’s life. She made sure that all 3 of her children had music lessons, and her dad made sure that they got there! Holidays were filled with music, especially when Uncle Al visited from Cleveland and jammed with Gerra and her siblings. Those early experiences had a profound impact on her life. At 14 years of age, she became a professional musician, playing keyboards and singing in her family band “Fly By Night.” Gerra’s mom booked the engagements and her dad (the greatest dad in the world!) accompanied her and her siblings on all their engagements - the best roadie ever! Their band was very successful for many years and provided music for many wedding receptions in the Alle-Kiski area. Gerra could be found on Sunday mornings playing the organ and singing for Mass at Mt. St. Peter Church and the Polish National Catholic Church in New Kensington.

After high school graduation, Gerra studied music at Temple University and Duquesne University, where she obtained degrees in Music Performance (Voice) and Music Education. Her first solo performance in a lounge was at the former Hyatt House, where she sang with James Taylor when he was performing at the Civic Arena. She then travelled all across the country for several years as a vocalist and pianist.

Upon returning to Pittsburgh, Gerra performed in the grand lobby of the former Westin William Penn Hotel. It began as a 3-month engagement and turned into 3 years. It was during this time that she joined the band “ACT I” and began performing for wedding receptions and ceremonies, something she loved doing during high school. She also held the position as choir director and organist at St. Mary of Czestochowa Church in New Kensington while working  at the Westin William Penn.

Gerra earned two degrees in music from Duquesne University. Being a voice major required singing in several languages, something she was very comfortable doing. Having grown up hearing Italian and Polish spoken by her grandparents, languages were something that she always had an interest in. Knowing this, her father suggested that she ‘check out’ the program at the University of Pittsburgh that offered Japanese. She took his advice, and 4 years later obtained a Masters Degree and was hired by the Shaler Area School District as a full-time Japanese language teacher! She enjoys teaching immensely, while still performing for wedding ceremonies and playing the piano for parties on weekends. She also keeps busy with “Chocolate Fountain Heaven” a company which she started in 2003. Music and chocolate have always been her passions!

In March of 2008, Gerra performed for a private party for President George W. Bush when he came to Sewickley Heights for a fundraiser (Read More Here). In September 2008 she was hired to play for a reception for Colonel Oliver North. Both were once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.



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