Volume C, No. 11November, 2000
Harry John Brown – Conductor
Lester Burness – Piano
Anthony Ciaramella – Trumpet
Charles J. Cliff – Saxophone
Joseph J. D’Andrea – Violin
Hugo D’Ippolito – Piano
Lee Erwin – Organ
Amelia M. Goodman – Piano
Nathan Kroll – Violin
Max Leib – Violin
Hal Rader – Drums
Julius Schulman – Violin
Samuel I. Singer – Viola
William Slapin – Tenor Sax
Norman A. Smith – Bass Clarinet
Stanley Turrentine – Saxophone
Donald Whyte – Violin
Russell Zeller – Drums
Joseph J. D’Andrea
Joseph J. D’Andrea, 90, a violinist and an 802 member since 1933, died on Aug. 31.
Mr. D’Andrea was a graduate of the University of California/San Francisco and the Juilliard School, where he received a doctorate in music. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Mr. D’Andrea became a real estate broker, and worked in that field till retirement. He moved from West Babylon, N.Y., to Fort Pierce, Fla., 11 years ago.
He is survived by his wife Helga, son Gregory, daughters Sheryl and Phyllis, sister Theresa and 12 grandchildren.
Harry John Brown
Harry John Brown, 76, a conductor and a Local 802 member since 1954, died on Aug. 30.
Born in Chicago, Mr. Brown was educated at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Chicago. He worked extensively with the Miami Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Pops and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He became the MSO’s first music director in 1959 and, during his nine-year tenure, led the orchestra’s transition from a semi-professional pops group to a fully professional symphony.
In 1968 he joined the music faculty at the State University of New York at Fredonia, remaining there until he retired in 1991. Mr. Brown also had a busy career in New York City studios. He conducted orchestras and bands on many television shows, including “The Voice of Firestone,” “The Steve Allen Show,” “The Arthur Godfrey Show” and many ABC Christmas specials.
Memorial donations can be made to the Harry John Brown Musical Theatre Scholarship Fund, Fredonia College Foundation, 2148 Fenton Hall, Fredonia, NY 14063.
Lee Erwin, 92, a theater organist who composed scores for more than 70 silent films and whose performances helped create a revival of interest in silent films during the 1970s, died on Sept. 21. He joined Local 802 in 1945.
Born in Huntsville, Ala., where his mother was a church organist, he began working as a theater organist as a high school student. He studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and then in 1930 went to Paris, where he studied with the French organist André Marchal and took composition classes with Nadia Boulanger.
Mr. Erwin returned to Cincinnati in 1932, and began a decade-long radio career as a staff organist at radio station WLW. In the mid-’40s he moved to New York to join the staff of CBS radio and television, working as an organist and arranger until 1966.
In 1967 the American Theater Organ Society, an organization of organists and hobbyist, commissioned him to compose a score for Queen Kelley, a 1929 Erich von Stroheim silent film starring Gloria Swanson. He subsequently composed for comedies by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, epics by D. W. Griffith, and classics like Lon Chaney’s 1923 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Fred Niblo’s 1925 Ben Hur. In the 1970s Mr. Erwin made several recordings for Angel Records, and some of his soundtracks were recorded by the BBC for theatrical and home video releases. Over the years he performed in a number of silent film series in New York and developed a regular circuit of jobs across the country, maintaining a fairly busy performing schedule until he was 90.
He is survived by his partner Donald T. Schwing, brother Joseph, and sisters Sarah and Mary.
Nathan Kroll, 88, a violinist and conductor, and the producer of many award-winning television documentaries about noted musicians, died on Sept. 14. He had been an 802 member for almost 70 years.
Born in New York City, he became interested in the violin at the age of 4 and was given his first instrument on his fifth birthday. At 12 he made his debut at Aeolian Hall in New York, and two years later began studying violin and composition at the Juilliard Graduate School on East 52nd Street. By the late 1920s he was touring under the management of Arthur Judson.
When the depression brought that phase of his career to a standstill, he began conducting jazz orchestras and composing and conducting music for radio broadcasts and films. He served in the military during World War II.
His first project as a film producer was a portrait of Martha Graham at work, “A Dancer’s World,” made for educational television. His breakthrough came in 1960 with the “Pablo Casals Master Class” series. Subsequent projects included television films of renowned musicians – including Jascha Heifetz, Andrés Segovia and Luciano Pavarotti – offering master classes; an eight-part series with the soprano Joan Sutherland; “Toscanini: A 100th Birthday Celebration” and “Music at Marlboro.” In 1964 he produced a feature-length documentary film on a nonmusical subject: “The Guns of August,” based on Barbara W. Tuchman’s history of the outbreak of World War I. Mr. Kroll donated tapes of his films and radio programs to the Museum of Television and Radio in Manhattan in 1989.
He is survived by his wife, Claire Merrill Kroll, son Stephen, stepdaughter Lucy Merrill Cotter and stepson Philip Merrill.
Julius Schulman, 84, a violinist who played in major orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, died on Sept. 9. He had been an 802 member for 66 years.
Born in Brooklyn, he began studying the violin at the age of 5. He later attended the Juilliard School of Music and then won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Efrem Zimbalist, Sr. After graduating in 1937 he joined the Philadelphia Orchestra, under Leopold Stokowski. In 1944 he became assistant concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under Fritz Reiner.
In 1947 he returned to New York to become the concertmaster of the WOR Mutual Network Symphony Orchestra, performing often as a soloist on the orchestra’s national broadcasts. After the orchestra was disbanded in 1954 he spent a year as a freelancer in Broadway orchestras.
He was concertmaster of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra for two seasons, and then returned to New York to become concertmaster of the Little Orchestra Society. In 1960 he joined the Boston Symphony, remaining there until 1970, when he became associate concertmaster at the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He later served as concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra from 1975 to 1990.
He is survived by his wife Betty, daughter Margaret, son Neil, brothers Bernard and Samuel and sisters Geri and Beatrice.
Stanley Turrentine, 66, a jazz saxophonist and 802 member, died on Sept. 12. He had suffered a stroke two days earlier.
Mr. Turrentine grew up in Pittsburgh, surrounded by music. His father was a part-time jazz musician, his mother was a church pianist and his older brother, Tommy, became a trumpeter. He started playing the tenor saxophone at the age of 11 and began traveling with a band when he was 16. He then joined one of Ray Charles’ early rhythm and blues groups, and in 1953 replaced John Coltrane in Earl Bostic’s band. Mr. Turrentine entered the army in 1956 and played in the 158th Army Band. Toward the end of the decade, he worked with the Max Roach Quintet.
He went solo in the 1960s, winning commercial success with such albums as “Stan ‘The Man’ Turrentine,” “Up at Minton’s” and “Never Let Me go.” Mr. Turrentine also often collaborated with keyboardist Jimmy Smith and guitarist Kenny Burrell on soul-jazz albums in the ’60s. Over the years, he developed an influential pop-leaning style that combined jazz elements with soul, R&B and rock. “Sugar,” made with George Benson in 1970, was his biggest hit. He recorded a great deal throughout his career, for labels including Blue Note, CTI, Fantasy and Musicmaster, and maintained a busy performance schedule. His group had recently opened for Aretha Franklin at Avery Fisher Hall, during this summer’s JVC Jazz Festival, and he was scheduled to open the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival in mid-September.
He is survived by his wife Judith, daughters Sheri, Lisa, Pamela and Nicole, stepson Mark Weatherly, two sisters, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Donald Whyte, 58, a violinist in the New York Philharmonic and an 802 member for many years, died on Sept. 10 of complications after surgery.
Born in Rivers, Manitoba, he began studying the violin with his father, Alexander Whyte. He continued his studies at the University of Saskatchewan and later as a student of Josef Gingold at Indiana University. He was a member of the Cincinnati Symphony, the Montreal Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony before joining the New York Philharmonic in 1972. In addition to his work with the Philharmonic, he played recitals with his wife, Noriko Kitamura, a pianist, and played chamber music with several ensembles, including the Gofriller Quartet and Soho Ensemble.
Mr. Whyte was an active member of various Philharmonic orchestra committees, serving as chair of the Artistic Committee for several years. He represented orchestra musicians at the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians and was also a board member of the Music Assistance Fund, which provides support for young minority musicians.
He is survived by his wife and a daughter, Lianne McKenzie.