William Kraft
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William Kraft

PAS Hall of Fame member William Kraft, former Principal Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Professor Emeritus, Composition Program, at the University of California Santa Barbera, died on February 12, 2022. Born on Sept. 23, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois, Kraft grew up in San Diego and joined the United States Air Force for three…

Rob Parks
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Rob Parks

Dr. Rob Parks died of cancer on June 12, 2022. Dr. Parks was the Director of Percussion Studies at Lebanon Trail High School in Frisco, Texas. He also taught the percussion students in the Lebanon Trail Cluster at Fowler Middle School and Clark Middle School, and served as the conductor and director of the Fowler…

William “Bill” Platt
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William “Bill” Platt

William “Bill” Platt, a longtime member of the Cincinnati Symphony and teacher at Ohio University and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, died at age 77 on Sept. 5, 2022, after a battle with lung disease. William H. Platt was born on November 10, 1944 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was a graduate of Milford High School….

Rubén P. Alvarez
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Rubén P. Alvarez

Ruben P Alvarez, a Latin percussionist, drum set artist, composer, and educator, died on Sept. 25, 2022 from complications from an incurable respiratory condition.  Born on Nov. 20, 1951 Rubén was first introduced to Latin percussion by playing drums in Puerto Rican street “descargas” in the 1960s on the streets of Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood….

Tom Float
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Tom Float

by Lauren Vogel Weiss Thomas Earl “Tom” Float, legendary marching percussion performer and instructor, passed away at the age of 69 on October 3, 2022 after a six-year battle with cancer. Best known for his tenure with the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps (Concord, California), he also taught Spirit of Atlanta (Georgia) and Oakland…

James Rago
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James Rago

James A. Rago, 79, longtime timpanist of the Louisville Orchestra, died October 13, 2022.  Jim was born in New York and grew up in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. He graduated from Lyndhurst High School and entered The Juilliard School of Music in 1961, on the advice of his high school friend Anthony Cirone. Jim studied with…

Raymond Helble
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Raymond Helble

by Lauren Vogel Weiss Raymond B. Helble, perhaps best known for his marimba compositions, died on October 17, 2022 at the age of 73. Diagnosed with bile duct cancer in October 2020, he received a liver transplant ten months later, but unfortunately, his cancer returned this past summer. He is survived by his wife, Carol…

Trudy Drummond Muegel
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Trudy Drummond Muegel

Trudy Drummond Muegel, 86, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 12, 2022, at her home in Charlotte, North Carolina.  She was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 28, 1936, and raised in rural northern Illinois. She was a retired percussionist who played for fifty-one years in symphony orchestras around the United States. She…

Tom Schneller
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Tom Schneller

by Lauren Vogel Weiss Thomas Scott Schneller, a former president of the Wisconsin PAS chapter, died unexpectedly in a car accident on Nov. 6, 2022 following a concert with the Dubuque (Iowa) Symphony Orchestra. For more than four decades, Schneller was the timpanist and principal percussionist with the Rochester (Minnesota) Symphony. “His knowledge of the…

Elayne Jones
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Elayne Jones

By Lauren Vogel Weiss PAS Hall of Fame member Elayne Jones died at her home in Walnut Creek, California on December 17, 2022 at the age of 94. Her daughter, Cheryl Stanley, told The New York Times the cause of death was dementia. Over the course of her career, Ms. Jones was Timpanist of the…