Ron Stabile left his mark on thousands of music students over his abbreviated teaching career, both here in East Greenwich at Cole Middle School (junior high then) and the University of Rhode Island. He died in 2012 at age 58. A talented percussionist, Stabile was best known for his uncanny ability to make anyone who walked into the band room or studio love to play music.
“He was always very enthusiastic about making music – in conducting, in playing, in his teaching,” said Charles Kalajian. “It was very contagious.”
Kalajian is a living example of that enthusiasm. He played for Stabile at Cole, studied privately with him and went on to study with Stabile at URI. Today Kalajian is working as a musician, teaching music at CCRI and the R.I. Philharmonic Music School, and back at URI as a graduate student.
To celebrate and commemorate Stabile’s teaching talent, the URI Music Department is holding two concerts in his honor next weekend (Sept. 28-29), with proceeds to fund the Ron Stabile Memorial Percussion Scholarship Fund.
“To me the URI scholarship in Ron's name validates that his hard work and dedication to his students has been recognized by the Music Department at URI,” said Brandon Levesque, who took over at Cole after Stabile retired.
“Never doing just the bare minimum, Ron would always go above and beyond whether it be in a lesson, teaching a class or even decorating his house for the holidays (what an amazing sight),” Levesque wrote in an email. “To me or anyone that has had him as a percussion instructor, Ron was the model teacher. Kind, compassionate, funny, intelligent and talented are just a few words to describe this amazing man.”
“When he was teaching at URI, he just brought people to the school,” said Kalajian. “Ron Stabile was URI’s filtering system. A lot of my friends came to URI because of Ron Stabile. They may have started as a music minor and they’d switch to music major.”
The concert Saturday will feature a number of Stabile’s musician friends and is free, although donations are encouraged. It takes place at 8 p.m. On Sunday, the famed Gary Burton Quartet will perform at 3 p.m. Tickets for that show are $45, $35, and $25 and all proceeds go to the scholarship fund. You’ll find a link to buy tickets here.“URI will never be able to replace him and what he meant to that department,” said Levesque, “but they can at least make sure that he will not be forgotten.”