Ray Conniff – Trombone
Harry Deitch – Saxophone
Harriet Fay – Piano
Vincent Forchetti – Trombone
Anton Guadagno – Conductor
Marvin Hartenstein – Saxophone
Carlos Martinez – Piano
Stephen Maxym – Bassoon
Alphonse Naclerio – Drums
Ray Conniff, 85, a trombonist and an 802 member since 1938, died on Oct. 12 in Los Angeles.
Mr. Conniff was born in Attleboro, Mass. His father was also a trombonist and his mother played the piano. In the 1930’s he moved to New York City where he started playing and arranging for the big-band leader Bunny Berigan in 1937. In 1939 he moved to Los Angeles and joined Bob Crosby’s Bobcats.
In 1951 Mr. Conniff was hired as a house arranger with Columbia Records. For Columbia, he arranged Johnnie Ray’s “Just Walking in the Rain,” Guy Mitchell’s “Singing the Blues,” Frankie Laine’s “Moonlight Gambler” and Johnny Mathis’s “Chances Are,” among others.
His band, the Ray Conniff Orchestra and Singers, played mood music in the 1950’s and 60’s, often combining vocals with no lyrics and soft string backgrounds. The band recorded hits like “Besame Mucho,” “New York, New York” and “Somewhere My Love (Lara’s Theme),” which won a Grammy. His 1956 album S’ Wonderful stayed on the Top 20 charts for nine months. In 1971 he recorded the hit “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” Of his more than 100 albums, 25 made the Top 40, ten went gold and two went platinum.
In March Mr. Conniff performed at the wedding of Liza Minnelli and David Gest.
He is survived by his wife Vera and daughter Tamara.
Vincent Forchetti, 76, a trombonist and an 802 member since 1955, died on July 8 in Yardley, Penn.
Mr. Forchetti started out as a drummer in his home town, Philadelphia. He switched to tenor trombone during World War II, when he served with the Special Forces Band in North Africa. After the war, he went on the road with some of the most noted big band leaders of the 1940’s and 50’s, including Ray Anthony, Charlie Spivak, Elliot Lawrence, Eddie Sauter and Bill Finegan, Neal Hefti and Tommy Dorsey. Many years later, at Dorsey’s memorial tribute, Mr. Forchetti played Dorsey’s solos.
He started playing in Broadway pits in the late 50’s, starting with Jamaica, under the baton of Lehmann Engel. He played in the pit orchestras of Subways Are For Sleeping, Bajour, Mame, Dear World,
Funny Girl, Minnie’s Boys and Over Here. Perhaps his longest and most well-known stint was his 15 years as lead trombonist for A Chorus Line.
He was a member of the Mike Douglas Show band, and was the only one who chose not to go to California when the show left Philadelphia in 1978.
Mr. Forchetti is survived by his daughter Lucette, six sons and 13 grandchildren.
Stephen Maxym, 87, a bassoonist and an 802 member since 1934, died on Oct. 12 in Laguna Woods, Calif.
He started his musical studies in 1931 when he received a New York Philharmonic Scholarship. After graduation from Stuyvesant High School, he continued his studies at the Juilliard School of Music. His first professional position was as solo bassoonist with the Pittsburgh Symphony at the age of 21.
In 1940 he became solo bassoonist at the Metropolitan Opera, a position which he held until his retirement from that orchestra in 1976.
Mr. Maxym’s career included appearances at numerous festivals, including Marlboro and the Newport Chamber Music Festival. He published many articles in pedagogical journals, and recorded under the RCA Victor and Columbia labels. He appeared as solo bassoonist under the batons of Fritz Reiner, Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, Herbert von Karajan, Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Rudolf Kempe, Fritz Busch, Sir Thomas Beecham, Colin Davis, George Szell, Pablo Casals, Erich Leinsdorf, Zubin Mehta and James Levine. In 2001, he was honored by the members of the International Double Reed Society for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the double reed community as artist and teacher.
Professor Maxym’s teaching career spanned over five decades. He held hundreds of master classes and taught both bassoon and chamber ensembles. In the last weeks of his life, Professor Maxym’s students – fondly referred to as “The Maxym Family” – called him and wrote to him from all over the world. He taught at Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, International School of Music (Canterbury, U.K.), Yale, New England Conservatory, Hartt, Banff and the University of Southern California.
Many of his students are actively involved in both teaching and administrative positions in conservatories, colleges and universities throughout this country and abroad.
Mr. Maxym is survived by his wife Lucy, daughter Edna, son Robert, four grandchildren, a great-grandson, niece and nephews, great-niece and great-nephews.
Contributions may be sent to the Stephen Maxym Scholarship in Bassoon, Juilliard School of Music, 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023.