On Friday, March 16, Dr. Giovanni Fontecchio, Ph.D., spoke to St. Patrick Catholic High School seniors about Italy and Europe. Dr. Fontecchio is Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Italian at the University of Southern Mississippi. During his career at USM, Dr. Giovanni Fontecchio taught Spanish, Italian, French, phonetics and music diction. He spoke to students about living in Italy during World War II and its effect on Europe, the culture of Italy and more.
On his presentation, SPCHS Senior Lillie Guida said, “I enjoyed getting to hear the perspective of someone who actually lived in Italy during such a historic event as World War II. Dr. Fontecchio was very intriguing and captivating speaker. I found it interesting that war times had such an impact on the family structure; Dr. Fontecchio shared with us that one of his brothers went missing during the chaos of the war.”
Student Spencer Wingfield added, “I greatly appreciated Dr. Fontecchio coming to talk to us about his native Italy, as it greatly enhanced my perspective as a citizen of the world. Thanks to him, I realized how completely different my home is from his, yet I also saw how the human experience changes very little with regard to geography.”
Dr. Fontecchio, over a period of several years, also had the opportunity to meet and work with Elsa Respighi, wife of the famed composer Ottorino Respighi, he completed, in collaboration with Dr. Roger Johnson, his translation of her book Cinquant’anni di Vita nella Musica, which appeared in the series Studies in the History and Interpretation of Music, under the title Fifty Years of a Life in Music: 1905 – 1955.