Last Stop, Carnegie Hall
New York Philharmonic Trumpeter William Vacchiano
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of North Texas Press
Series: Lives of Musicians
Title Page, Copyright Page
List of Illustrations
During my teen years in New Orleans, my trumpet teacher was George Jansen. He had studied with William Vacchiano some twenty-five years earlier and recommended that I do the same in college. The first time I met Mr. Vacchiano was when I auditioned at Juilliard in 1979 (Gerard Schwarz and Edward Treutel were also there). I played ...
Few trumpet teachers influenced as many individual students professionally and personally as William Vacchiano, principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic (1935–1973). His contributions to the music world include hundreds of orchestral recordings, numerous method books, thousands of private students, and a lifetime of research on ...
Researching and communicating the life and career of Bill Vacchiano has touched me both musically and personally. I did not realize the number of individuals and organizations with which I would become so familiar over the years in preparing this book. A task this monumental would not be possible without the specific assistance of others. ...
I met William Vacchiano when he was ninety-one years old; I was twenty-four. I was a doctoral student in trumpet performance at Arizona State University, and my major professor, David Hickman, and I decided that writing a biography of a famous musician would be just the right fit for me and my interests. I compiled a list of prominent trumpet ...
Chapter 1: Biography
William Anthony Vacchiano was born on May 23, 1912, in Portland, Maine, the seventh of eight children to Rafaello and Anna Vacchiano. Of his seven siblings, Vacchiano had five older sisters, one older brother, and one younger brother. The two oldest sisters, Mary and Margarita, were born in Italy before their parents immigrated to the United ...
Chapter 2: Vacchiano and the New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic, founded in 1842 under the leadership of Ureli Corelli Hill, is the oldest orchestra in continuous existence in the United States. Having performed over 15,000 concerts since its inception, the Philharmonic enjoys an immensely rich musical history. In 1882, the Philharmonic went on its first tour and since then has ...
Chapter 3: Responsibilities of a Principal Trumpeter
In the context of sight-reading and transposition, Vacchiano taught many rules of orchestral style. Vacchiano absorbed these rules from his lessons with Schlossberg, as well as from his exposure to the great conductors who came through New York. Vacchiano performed under them all so many times that he knew how to play every major trumpet ...
Chapter 4: Vacchiano’s Rules of Orchestral Performance
A significant part of Vacchiano’s pedagogy was teaching the student to play with the correct style. These rules were imparted to Vacchiano through his contact with many famous conductors and most importantly his teacher, Max Schlossberg. Vacchiano estimated the number of these rules to exceed two hundred. The rules found below, which I ...
Chapter 5: Pedagogical Methods
Vacchiano’s teaching career spanned seven decades as an instructor at The Juilliard School (1935–2002), Manhattan School of Music (1937–1999), Mannes College of Music (1937–1983), Queens College (1970–1973, 1991–1994), North Carolina School of the Arts (1973– 1976), and Columbia Teachers College.1 In addition to his tenure at ...
Chapter 6: Vacchiano’s Use of Equipment
As each Vacchiano student attests, Vacchiano possessed an uncanny knowledge of the inner workings of the mouthpiece and how to find the right mouthpiece for each student. He stated: If you have a problem with your feet, you change your shoes. If you have a problem with your eyes, you get different glasses. Why should the lips be different? If someone is playing on the ...
Chapter 7: Remembering Bill
On September 19, 2005, the music world lost one of its most dedicated students, teachers, and performers: William Vacchiano. After a long battle with various physical ailments, Vacchiano passed away at Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan from respiratory failure. Philip Varriale, MD, honored Vacchiano’s life with this eulogy delivered on September 24, 2005: ...
Bibliography and Sources