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Obituaries

January 9, 2013

Jack (John W.) Gerard

(Continued)

He was the acting music chairman in the New York City Public School’s JHS 98, Bronx, from 1961 to 1965; the acting assistant principal in New York City Public School’s JHS 145, Bronx. He was also the music supervisor and coordinator, as well as teacher trainer at JHS 145, from 1966 to 1968, as well as the Dean of Boys for one year during his tenure at JHS 145.

In his “spare time” while living in NYC, he was the assistant conductor of the All-Boro Band, Bronx, from 1967 to 1968, and a music education instructor at Manhattanville College, Purchase, during the summer of 1968.

He performed professionally as well, “going on the road” with The Sam Donahue big band at a tender age; performing with the Band of America (Paul Lavalle, conductor), including at the 1964 World’s Fair; with the Moscow Philharmonic (during USA appearances); with the Westchester Philharmonic, the Manhattan Orchestra, and the U.S. Navy Band (1953 to 1955). Jack sat “in the pits” of many Broadway shows, was actively employed as a free-lance musician in NYC and the tri-state area, and played for television commercials while in NYC.

His varied musical career had him lecturing at Manhattanville College, Purchase, performing as soloist for the premiere of “Electronic Composition for Trombone and Tape Recorder,” at Donnell Library, NYC; contracting performers for musical accompaniment for many world-famous acts such as the Royal Lippizan Stallion Show; conducting the Shrine Circus Band in Syracuse, leading his own band “The Brass Creation” for several decades; and repairing musical instruments for Holley Music in both New Paltz and Cooperstown.

In his “retirement” years Jack taught instrumental music privately, and is fondly remembered by so many students. Many of his private students, as well as his public-school students, have remained in contact with him, including several going back to his very first year of teaching! He taught his students ALL about music, rather than “just” about their particular instrument. More importantly, he taught them about discipline, perseverance and respect. His influence on their lives on.     

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