Amsterdam – Matthew Cinquanti, 70, of Amsterdam, NY passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 18th, 2022 following a brief illness.
A lifelong city resident, Matt was born on September 16, 1952 and was the beloved second son of Gerald Cinquanti and Erma Canale. At the age of seven, his parents moved to a new home, where the previous owners had left a very old, out of tune upright piano. Matt would sit for hours and teach himself how to play. Within months, he had taught himself how to play complete songs, and it was at that moment, he had found his passion.
His piano playing connected him to his lifelong love of the stage, when the late Bert DeRose pulled him out of the pit orchestra as a tenth grader to play the role of the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. Matt went on to star in several more DeRose productions and then succeeded his beloved mentor by directing several Amsterdam Recreation Department summer plays.
Matt’s piano playing got him into the Boston Conservatory of Music, helped him earn a bachelor’s degree in music education at Albany State University and his master’s at St. Rose College and led him to a thirty-year career as a music teacher, during which he taught at the elementary, middle school and high school levels and spent a memorable year as director of the AHS Marching Rams.
His piano playing led him directly into a distinguished half-century-long career as a church organist, choir director and vocalist which began as an altar boy at Amsterdam’s old St. Michael the Archangel’s Roman Catholic Church, when a kindly nun let Matt try his hand at the Church’s intricate pipe organ. Within a few years he was playing Masses and surprising even his family with his uniquely beautiful singing voice.
Matt served as the organist and choral director at several of the most beloved church congregations in Amsterdam, Johnstown and Gloversville. He loved God, he loved being in church, he adored the music and truly enjoyed directing the wonderful members of numerous church choirs. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Survivors include his five siblings, Jerry (Maria) Cinquanti, Michael (Rosemary) Cinquanti, Claudia Canale, Maria (Dean) Romano and Paul Canale; his uncle, Martin “Michael” Therrien; several, nieces, nephews, cousins and a special group of friends.
A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Friday, December 23, 2022 at 12 p.m. at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, 205 Glebe Street, Johnstown, NY. Relatives and friends are invited and may call prior to the Mass beginning at
10:30 a.m.at the church. Private burial will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fort Johnson, NY.
Memorial contributions in Matt’s name be made to Holy Trinity Church or to the charity of one’s choice. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Family Funeral Home. Please visit the online memorial at www.brbsfuneral.com