Last updated: February 17. 2013 7:23AM - 123 Views

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A film about a band from Scranton‚??s past, The Scranton Sirens, brings home an Emmy¬ģ award for Northeastern Pennsylvania‚??s public media station, WVIA.

The WVIA original documentary film, ‚??Remembering The Scranton Sirens‚?Ě celebrates the exceptional musical legacy of one of the most significant but unheralded ‚??territory‚?Ě dance bands in American musical history.

Within its east coast niche, the Scranton Sirens commanded both huge crowds and the respect of the finest bandleaders of the dance-band era, such as Ted Lewis and Paul Whiteman. Most importantly, the band introduced iconic artists such as Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Russ Morgan, and Bill Challis, whose phenomenal musical innovation presaged their international fame and profoundly influenced the Big Band era.

The Scranton Sirens reputation reflected the vivacious mood of post-World War One America and the ‚??work hard, play hard‚?Ě spirit of the city from which the band took its name.

Musical Director and Creative Consultant Vince Giordano studied arranging under Bill Challis, and authentically recreated four original Sirens‚??
recordings on-camera with his 11-piece band ‚??The Nighthawks,‚?Ě who are featured on the CD ‚??Boardwalk Empire: Volume 1 Music From the HBO¬ģ Original Series.‚?Ě Giordano‚??s tonal recreation sonorously relived the early careers of Challis, the Dorsey brothers and Russ Morgan, and introduces viewers to the exquisite craft and art of playing Jazz music.

This past August, WVIA Public Media was notified that ‚??Remembering The Scranton Sirens‚?Ě was nominated for a 2012 Emmy¬ģ award by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the
Outstanding Documentary category. In addition to ‚??Remembering the Scranton Sirens‚?Ě the category included ‚??The Last Chapter‚?Ě from WQED Multimedia
Pittsburgh, ‚??Timebomb: Allentown Gas Explosion‚?Ě from WFMZ-TV Allentown, ‚??Van Gogh‚?Ě from NBC Philadelphia, and ‚??Rescuing the River: the Raritan‚?Ě from NJN Public Television, Trenton NJ.

Members of the WVIA management and staff who produced the film attended the 30th Annual Mid-Atlantic Emmy¬ģ Awards in Philadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 22 and then took to the stage to accept the Emmy¬ģ award on behalf of the all of the ‚??Remembering The Scranton Sirens‚?Ě crew. They included Andrew Sordoni, executive producer, Bill Kelly, president/executive producer, Tom Curr√°, executive producer, Greg Matkosky, creative director of documentary films, Kris Hendrickson, editor, Kathryn Davies, production administrator and Ben Payavis II, production manager.

In addition to wining the Outstanding Documentary category, WVIA Public Media also took home a 2012 Emmy¬ģ award in the category of Outstanding Human Interest Program/Special for its production of the 2011 Little League Challenger Exhibition Game¬ģ

‚??This is a capstone for decisions made at WVIA years ago to become a major maker of regional documentaries. The team here let nothing keep us from that vision,‚?Ě said Bill Kelly, President and CEO of WVIA Public Media.

‚??This is a major accomplishment for the WVIA team and the region we serve. It would not be possible without the support of our members,‚?Ě said Thomas M. Curr√°, Executive Vice-President and Executive Producer at WVIA Public Media.
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