Pete “Rustofski” Fanelli grew up on a small farm near Syracuse, New York. There, he learned the value of hard work but often had to make tough choices in his life. He discovered the trombone at an early age, and when he was ready for college, he had to decide to either become a farmer or a musician. He was torn as he wanted to keep his family’s legacy as the best elephant herders in the country. But on one fateful night in mid-June, he looked at his trombone and proclaimed, “Oh Trombone, I’m never going to give you up!” He told his mom he was going to become a musician. She was unhappy, but he assured her that he would never let her down, run around, or desert her. But instead, he picked up his things, left Syracuse, and joined the SSO.