Vito Pascucci, founder and chairman of the Kenosha, Wisconsin-based G. LEBLANC CORPORATION, passed away on Monday, August 18th, 2003 after a long period of declining health. He was 80 years old.
Born on Oct. 12, 1922 in Kenosha, Vito first learned music as a trumpet student. He went on to play with the Glenn Miller Army Air Corps Band during World War II. While stationed in Europe, Vito learned manufacturing techniques from the most respected and progressive instrument maker of the time – Leon Leblanc. Returning from the war, Vito co-founded the G. Leblanc Corporation in America in 1946. Over the years he turned his original one-man shop into a nine-brand corporation employing some 450 people and serving a world market from two continents. G. Leblanc is currently the source for both the Vito and Sankyo brands of flutes and piccolos in the USA.
In recognition of his lifelong contributions to music education, Vito was awarded honorary doctorates from six universities. He served six terms as president of the National Association of Band Instrument Manufacturers, and was honored with numerous other commendations all throughout his career. For more details about this marvelous man, and some wonderful pictures, please visit the webpage: www.gleblanc.com/vito.
Former principle flutist of the New York Philharmonic, long-time faculty member of both Juilliard and the Curtis Institute, well-known recording artist, beloved teacher, mentor, and friend to scores of people all around the world, Julius Baker has passed away. He had reportedly been teaching his 26th annual summer masterclass at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT when he became ill on Monday, and we lost him that Wednesday August 6th after an apparent heart attack, at the age of 87. He was born in Cleveland on Sept. 23, 1915.
The legacy of Mr. Bakers recordings is a breath taking achievement in and of themselves. We are also blessed to have his many transcriptions and editions of music, as well as many now-stellar flute players who were his students and who can help pass along some of his wisdom. What may not be so well known is that on May 23, 2003, Julius Baker was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Juilliard School, during their 98th commencement ceremony.
I first got to know Mr. Baker at a week long masterclass he gave in Humboldt, California in 1993. I remember him telling us many stories, among them that he first began playing the flute "because my father did". For many reasons, too numerous to mention, Baker was a much beloved feature at National Flute Conventions for many many years. Be sure to find the numerous and substantial tributes to this special man that are sure to come (among others, look for one in an upcoming issue of the NFAs journal – Flutist Quarterly). And for a few other pictures from our own archives, please visit the Flute Network website – www.flutenet.com/baker. (JSP)
Some photos from our own archives:
1. This photo was taken at a party during the 1993 Masterclasses Julius Baker gave in Humboldt, CA -- left to right: John Barcellona, Jerry Pritchard, Joanna Pearce (accompanist extrordinaire!), and Mr. Baker.
2. Baker always enjoyed good company -- here he was deep in conversation while between events at the NFA Convention in August, 2000.
3. Mr and Mrs. Julius Baker - on their way to yet another event, NFA Convention, August 2002.
Return to Flute Network Home Page