Volume CI, No. 7/8July, 2001
Mario J. Battista – Trumpet
Murray Berman – Saxophone
Richard W. Brooks – Trumpet
Harry Dapeer – Piano
Larry Eisinger – Drums
George Feher – Cello
Ronald S. Finck – Alto Sax
David Fleischman – Piano
Joseph Franco – Violin
Jack (Freilicher) Fry – Piano
Pearl Greher – Violin
Frederick M. Hartung – Clarinet/Saxophone
Leo Lauro – Drums
James Lee – Saxophone
Sy Mann – Piano/Arranger/Composer
Victor Norman – Conductor
Chico O’Farrill – Composer/Arranger/Conductor
Earle D. Palmer – Composer/Piano/Tuba
Frank Papile – Accordion
Ann Ray – Piano
Richard Raymond – Trumpet
Joseph Roccaforte – Trumpet
Max Schrier – Trumpet
David Sheinfeld – Composer/Conductor/Violin
Fritz Wallenberg – Conductor
Carl Waxman – Saxophone/Clarinet
Louis White – Guitar
Joseph W. Williams – Drums
Vera Wilson – Drums
Pearl Greher, 78, a child prodigy who began her violin solo career at age 12, died on June 23. She had been an 802 member for 60 years.
She studied with Michel Piastro, his assistant Gladys Gauvreau, and attended the Professional Children’s School. A member of the National Youth Administration Orchestra, she was a soloist with the WPA orchestra at the 1939 World’s Fair. During World War II she performed with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and as a soloist with the United States Army Band, commuting to New York City every week for broadcasts with the Raymond Paige Orchestra on NBC.
Ms. Greher performed with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, which featured an all-female string section, and was a longtime member of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra. Her recording credits included soundtracks for the movies, Carnegie Hall” The Cotton Club” Tommy Dorsey at the Capital Theater” recordings for Xavier Cougat’s Orchestra and on the Shirelles hit, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.”
Pearl Greher performed with the Queens Symphony Orchestra (she was the its most senior member, both in terms of her age and the number of years with the orchestra), the Queens College Orchestral Society and the Queens College Choral Society, and in numerous commercials.
She is survived by her husband Henry, a Local 802 member for many years, son Warren, daughter Gena, a violinist and 802 member, and three grandchildren.
A scholarship in her name is being set up at Teachers College, Columbia University, to benefit graduate students in Music Education. Tax deductible contributions can be sent to: Teachers College, Columbia University, Attn. Susan Berko, Box 306, 525 West 120th Street, NYC 10027.
Frederick M. Hartung, 88, a clarinet and saxophone player and an 802 member since 1948, died on June 3.
Born in Ridgewood, N.Y., Mr. Hartung worked as an accountant for Hamilton Standard for many years. He was a lifelong musician, playing at weddings and social events, and a music educator.
He is survived by his wife Mavis, sons Frederick, Geoffrey and Jonathan, daughter Mafred, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Sy Mann, 80, whose career as pianist, arranger and composer spanned almost seven decades, died on March 23. He had been an 802 member for 65 years.
At age thirteen he was the youngest sideman in the Catskill mountains resort circuit, where he learned arranging and accompanying skills that would serve him well in later years. He graduated from NYU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, then served in the U.S. Army as a chief warrant officer in charge of a 55-piece infantry band stationed in France for more than two years during World War II.
Back in New York after the war, he became active in the recording, big band (Alvino Rey) and club date scene. He joined WNEW (the Bob Haymes show) and then WCBS as a staff musician, where he spent many years with The Arthur Godfrey Show as sideman and bandleader, as well as playing for the Ted Mack Amateur Hour and various soap operas and variety shows during the 1950s and ’60s.
Mr. Mann subsequently recorded with many pop and jazz artists, including Benny Goodman, Barbra Streisand, Lionel Hampton and Dick Hyman. He was active in the jingle field, composing music for American Airlines and Polaroid which remained on the air for many years. He continued his musical activities after moving to Florida in the late ’70s, playing in the Ted Martin orchestra and composing the theme for Aventura, the town where he lived.
He is survived by his wife Betty, sons Bob and David, and their children.
Chico O’Farrill, 79, a composer, arranger, conductor and trumpet player who was one of the primary creators of Afro-Cuban jazz, died on June 27. He was an 802 member for over 50 years.
Born in Cuba, his parents sent him to military school in the United States, expecting him to enter law school upon his graduation. But after hearing radio broadcasts featuring Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, he decided to take up the trumpet. He studied with the Cuban composer Felix Guerrero and by 1945 was playing trumpet in the popular Orquesta Bellemar, and also performing with guitarist Isidro Perez.
In 1948 Mr. O’Farrill moved to New York, where he worked as a ghost writer for arranger Gil Fuller. He wrote for Benny Goodman, and began to work with some of the most influential names in Latin jazz: Dizzy Gillespie, Machito and Noro Morales. Despite his position at the forefront of Latin jazz, Mr. O’Farrill never stopped trying to learn more about composing, studying classical harmony and orchestration.
In the early 1950s, he recorded and toured with his own Chico O’Farrill Orchestra, playing top clubs in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. As rock and roll grew and the big bands declined he returned to Cuba, where he stayed for two years. In 1957 he moved to Mexico City, where he led a band for eight years. It was there that he wrote the Aztec Suite for trumpeter Art Farmer.
Mr. O’Farrill returned to New York in 1965, doing arrangements for Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Gato Barbieri and the New York Saxophone Quartet. His Three Cuban Dances was performed by the Caracas Philharmonic in 1981. Mr. O’Farrill orchestrated three tunes on David Bowie’s 1993 release, “Black Tie White Noise.” He also worked on commercial jingles, a film score for Jorge Ulla’s Guaguasi, and music for television shows. Two albums he released in the 1990s – Pure Emotion and Heart of a Legend – were nominated for Grammy Awards. His latest album, Carambola, was released only last year. His 18-piece big band had been performing weekly at Birdland for the last three years.
Mr. O’Farrill is survived by his wife Lupe, son Arturo – a pianist and 802 member – and daughter Georgina.
Earle D. Palmer (Slaughter), 90, a composer, pianist and tuba player, and an 802 member since 1940, died on May 27.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, the second of 14 children of Emma and Aaron Slaughter, he moved to New York in 1932 to pursue a career in music. He got his start at the Hotcha Club, where jazz greats including Fats Waller and Duke Ellington encouraged him, and he accompanied such artists as Billie Holiday. He played for a while with an instrumental trio, The Three Flames. In 1942, while playing tuba and piano in the U.S. Navy band, he studied at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Mr. Palmer played and sang – in four languages, including Yiddish – throughout the New York area and at the Concord Hotel in the Catskills for many years. A member of ASCAP, he was also a prolific composer. One career highlight was a 1994 performance at Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson. After working steadily throughout his long career, Mr. Palmer retired at age 89, but he continued to attend the Jazz Foundation’s Monday night jam sessions in the 802 Club Room.
He is survived by his brother Lawrence, sister Violet, daughter Judith, grand-daughters Aubrey and Brandi, and great grand-daughter Taylor.
Richard Raymond, 87, a trumpet player who had been a member of Local 802 since 1934, died on April 28.
Mr. Raymond’s career spanned more than 50 years, during which he contracted and conducted the house orchestras at the old Hotel Astor, as well as at the Waldorf-Astoria. He conducted at Radio City Music Hall and was musical director of the Loews 86th Street Theatre. He had his own radio program on WRNY and was musical director for a number of shows on WOR. He also contracted bands for Buddy Rich and Frank Sinatra.
Mr. Raymond was the son of Al Raymond, a veteran vaudevillian, one half of the team of Raymond and Cavelli. He leaves no survivors.
David Sheinfeld, 94, a prominent Bay Area composer, teacher, violinist and conductor, died in San Francisco on June 9. He had been an 802 member for more than 55 years.
Born in St. Louis, the son of Ukrainian immigrants, he began playing the violin as a child and took up composition in his teens. From 1929-31 he studied in Rome with Ottorino Respighi. After returning to the United States he worked in Chicago as a performer, arranger and conductor. He joined the San Francisco Symphony violin section in 1945, remaining with the orchestra until 1971, when he reached the mandatory retirement age.
Mr. Sheinfeld’s compositions were performed widely – by the San Francisco Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Kronos Quartet and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Conductor Kent Nagano led the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra in many premieres of his work. In 1993 he received an Award in Composition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was also a respected composition teacher.
He is survived by sons Paul and Daniel and three grandchildren.
Fritz Wallenberg, 100, co-founder and conductor of the Binghamton Symphony and an 802 member since 1941, died on April 27.
A native of Germany, he studied music – as well as engineering – in Munich, Danzig and Berlin, and then became conductor at the Shwerin Opera House. After Hitler came to power, Mr. Wallenberg began conducting in Holland. He left Europe shortly before the beginning of World War II, moving to Colombia, where he conducted the chorus and taught cello at the Bogota Conservatory.
He moved to the United States in 1940 and played cello in the Indianapolis Symphony for a year, before moving to New York City. Here he found work as a mechanical engineer and met his wife Marianne, a violinist. In 1947, after his job was transferred, he and his wife moved to Binghamton, where they founded the Binghamton Symphony, now known as the Binghamton Philharmonic. He conducted the Binghamton Symphony and the Choral Society for 25 years, retiring in 1975, and made enormous contributions to developing community interest in classical music. Mr. Wallenberg was also a gifted teacher. Several of his students have gone on to become members of major orchestras.
He is survived by his wife Marianne, daughter Katherine, son James, and brothers Rudolf and Heinz.
Carl Waxman, 90, a saxophone and clarinet player and an 802 member for almost six decades, died on May 18. Mr. Waxman was the saxophone soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. His recordings with that orchestra of works by Bizet, Ravel, Walton, Prokofiev and Moussorgsky are considered benchmark saxophone interpretations.
Mr. Waxman started his musical career playing in the pit orchestras in Philadelphia’s Gem, Bijou and Troc burlesque houses. He graduated to the movie houses, each of which had a full orchestra, and then to the bands of local radio stations KYW, WCAU and WIP.
The turning point of his career came when he began working with several leading society bands. As lead alto sax with Lester Lanin for over 50 years, he played at some of the biggest, most lavish parties all over the world, well into his 80s. Mr. Waxman played presidential inaugurals for presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford and Reagan, as well as for Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, and the weddings of Princesses Margaret and Diana.
He is survived by his wife Claire, sons Martin and Arthur, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.