Category Archives: Final Notes / In Memoriam

Final Note: Wally Holmes

Wally Holmes: Evangelist, Jazzman, Composer, Impresario, Great Human 

by Richard Simon & Cynthia Crosby

 “I should have gone in and pounded the table,” he said, “but that isn’t my style.”  

Wally Holmes didn’t need to pound tables; throughout his life, he commanded attention the old-fashioned way:  through talent, hard work, persistence – and an astonishing skill in the obscure art of solfeggio.

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Final Note: Ernie Ehrhardt

Life Member. Cello
8/8/1946 – 8/17/2021

by Cecilia Tsan

Requiescat in Pace, dear Ernie Ehrhardt! So sad to see how this terrible disease took you so fast. You’ve been my caring stand partner as Assistant Principal with the Long Beach Symphony for 20 years and 20 more before I joined as Principal. We shared so many great memories together and you always tried your best during rehearsals and concerts. Thanks for your dedication to the Orchestra, your sense of humor and your passion for music. You will be missed.

Final Note: Kevin Hiatt

Life Member. Composer
7/7/1947 – 8/8/2021

by Carl Rigoli

Kevin was a great musician, composer and friend. I had known him since 1970. I played drums and percussion in his rehearsal band and recording sessions that he composed and arranged for his musical projects.

Kevin was always considered one of the best big band jazz composers in Los Angeles. Many great jazz and studio players played his compositions. He was also a masterful copyist and proofreader for some of the top film composers.

Kevin was a kind and respectful gentleman. Goodbye old friend, and Rest In Peace.

Final Note: Clarence ‘Mac’ McDonald

2/24/1945 – 7/21/2021
Member. Keyboard

Music Industry Mourns the Loss of Keyboardist, Producer, Writer and Arranger Clarence “Mac” McDonald.

 Musician who bridged genres and generations was known for work with Ray Charles, James Taylor, Bill Withers dies at the age of 76.

The family, friends and colleagues of Clarence McDonald are saddened to share the news of his passing on July 21, 2021. McDonald was born in Los Angeles at White Memorial Hospital on February 24, 1945. While music brought him around the world, Los Angeles remained his home where he resided in Toluca Lake. In 2013, McDonald moved to and resided in Las Vegas, NV until his death. Continue reading

Final Note: Robert Edmondson

Life Member. Trombone.
3/5/1935 – 5/29/2021

Robert (Bob) Edmondson, trombonist, passed away peacefully in Los Angeles on May 29, 2021.

As a young musician, Bob studied with Herbie Harper, Harold Mitchell, and Louis Maggio. He performed in Phil Moore’s Marching Band at Los Angeles City College and then his career took off. He traveled with the bands of Perez Prado and Harry James in the 1950s. Bob then worked and recorded with notable artists such as Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Shelly Manne, Terry Gibbs, and Gerald Wilson. Continue reading

Final Note: Pat Rizzo

Life Member. Flute
11/30/1941 – 4/15/2021

by Carl Rigoli

I met Pat Rizzo at JHS 141 Astoria, Queens, NYC in the 7th grade and he formed his first band which included Pat on tenor sax, Andre Simone on guitar and myself, Carl Rigoli, on drums. We were all 12 years old and rehearsed at Andre’s house. I remember playing our first performance for our school’s student and faculty assembly. We played “Blue Suede Shoes” and everyone loved it. Pat was our leader and he started booking gigs for local functions such as the Moose Lodge, weddings, etc. We all attended Bryant High School and added another sax and trumpet, plus a bass player named Wally Capone Puschmann to our rhythm section. He named the band the Cavilers and we performed for all the school dances, proms and many local gigs. We played rock, standards, and jazz. Continue reading

Final Note: Jonathan Mako Sharkey

Member. Keyboard
7/18/1949 – 12/1/2020

Jonathan Mako Sharkey, 71, succumbed to brain cancer on December 1, 2020. He was a gifted keyboard player. While he held 16 album credits with other artists, he recorded two solo albums (“Voyager,” “West of Malibu”) that feature original songs and a unique Dr. John-type singing voice. Continue reading

Final Note: Daniel Thomason

Dan Thomason, en route to Berlin. Winter, 1959

Life Member. Viola
6/27/1934 – 5/25/2020

by Anita Thomason

We made music together, both literally and metaphorically, from the day we met in an orchestra in 1955. We married in 1959, and across the years had many memorable musical adventures. We had two sons whom Dan loved deeply — Matthew and Peter, one a fine art printmaker and the other a pianist, guitarist and piano technician. Continue reading