Norm Kobal

Part #1 (Life Story)




Norm Kobal was born on Nov. 23rd 1932 in Johnstown PA, a son of the late Stanley and Jennie Lubelshek Kobal. Norman graduated from Girard High School Class of 1950. Following graduation he joined the United States Air Force. He was stationed at Offutt Air force Base the home of the Strategic Air Command in Omaha, Nebraska where he was a member of the Offutt Air Force Band where he served for four years. After serving with the Air Force he attended Youngstown State University and graduated with his degree in music education. After graduating he taught for five years in the Lakeview School System and then returned to his alma mater at the Girard City Schools where he taught music for 28 years and retired from teaching in 1983. Norm continued to play music professionally. Norm's love of music began at a young age when at the age of ten He joined his father's band, The Airliners. This love of music continued throughout his entire life. He was widely known for his ability with the clarinet, saxophone and especially the flute. He played flute with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra for seven years, he directed and played jazz concerts he performed with the local summer concert series and was a guest performer with the W.D Packard Concert Band. He backed many nationally known performers such as Robert Goulet, Wayne Newton, and Sergio Franchi at the Stambaugh Auditorium and the Symphony Center. Norm had a love for Slovenian Style Polka Music and performed with many well known Cleveland area bands. He traveled throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He was highly sought after for recording sessions. He had over 100 recordings with a host of Cleveland Style Orchestras. Norm had many honors and recognitions as a musician over the years. He was recognized as the POPP man of the year in 1992, Musician of the Year by the National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame in 1992 as well as Sideman of the year in 1995 and 1996. One of his own compositions Emily's Waltz, was recognized as Greatest All Time Cleveland Style Waltz. Norm retired professionally from music in April of 2007 after suffering a stroke. Norman Kobal died Nov. 20, 2010, at Liberty Health Care.















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