STOCKTON – The Stockton Opera Guild recently recognized a Stockton man for his volunteer efforts on behalf of the organization.
Gerry Ascencio was honored Nov. 2 at “The Curtain Goes Up” dinner and musical program at the Stockton Golf and Country Club.
Ascencio was saluted as “a member of our community who has tirelessly, and always with a smile, offered his time, talents and strength to ensure that live opera, the grandest and most elaborate of the performing arts, remains a vibrant part of Stockton’s art offerings.”
A former U.S. Air Force and California National Guard crew chief and pilot, Ascencio was introduced to vocal music in a class at Victory Elementary School in Stockton. His interest was enriched by film musicals featuring Mario Lanza, his favorite tenor. After leaving active military service, he took a chorus class at San Joaquin Delta College and joined the Stockton Chorale with whom he sang for more than 40 years and participated in numerous opera productions. He has been on the Stockton Opera Association’s board of directors for more than 20 years.
The Nov. 2 program also featured Stockton Symphony Maestro Peter Jaffe and singers Jessica Siena and Daniel Ebbers in a preview of the forthcoming opera productions of “Pagliacci” and “Gianni Schicchi.” The event benefitted the Guild’s Kathe Underwood Scholarship Fund for aspiring young singers from the local community.