Albert Yodzonis '48 of Worcester, MA, died November 19, 2002, in a nursing home. He was 89. Born in Brockton, MA, he served in the U.S. Army during WWII, and was awarded two Bronze Star medals. A trumpeter, he studied at Berklee in the late 1940s. Working as a professional musician under the stage name of Al Youngman, he led his own band and backed such artists as the Lennon Sisters, Bobby Vinton, the Temptations, and the Four Tops. He also directed bands on cruise ships, and at state fairs. In his later years, he worked with numerous local ensembles, including the Worcester Symphony Orchestra.
Trumpeter and big-band leader Bill Berry '58 died of lung cancer November 13, 2002, in Los Angeles. He was 72. Born in Benton Harbor, MI, Berry spent his early years traveling with his parents, who were professional musicians. Before coming to Berklee, he studied music at Cincinnati College of Music. Berry performed with the big bands of Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson before joining the Duke Ellington band for a three-year stint in 1961. He later played with the Thad Jones Mel Lewis orchestra and led his own New York Big Band. In 1965 he began playing in the band for the Merv Griffin Show and was featured for 15 years. In recent years, he served as director of the Monterey Jazz Festival's jazz-education program. In 1999, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Berklee.
Percussionist Michael Christofaro '69 of Ashland, MA, died December 26 at Metrowest Hospital in Framingham, MA. He was 60.
John Barry Grogan '78 of Dennis, MA, died January 4 at his home. He was 49. A guitarist, Grogan had attended both the Juilliard School of Music and Berklee. An avid sailor, Grogan was a member of a racing team and received numerous certificates of achievement from the U.S. Power Squadron. He continued to pursue music by writing and performing. He is survived by his wife, Luanne.
Stephen Cummings '83 of Arlington, MA, died on March 9, 2002, after a long struggle with leukemia. He was 56 years old. Cummings had earned degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and Lesley University in addition to studying music at Berklee. A pianist and composer, Cummings enjoyed introducing music and composition to children and had produced a CD of children's songs as well as a children's book and tape. During his illness, he produced a CD of original songs, chants, and prayers. At the time of his death, he was developing a theatrical show featuring his healing music and thoughts on life and death. He is survived by his wife, Diane, and son, Kobi.
Lobito Martinez '88 of Asuncion, Paraguay, was stabbed to death in his home by two men who broke in to rob him on January 25. He was 50. Martinez was a well-regarded composer and musician in his native Asuncion.
Berklee's Director of Admissions Marsha Ginn of Needham, MA, died January 1 of cancer. She was 61. Ginn was born and raised in Dorchester, MA. She graduated from Girl's Latin School and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Before joining Berklee four years ago, Ginn had worked as the director of admissions for Brandeis and Suffolk universities. "Marsha was probably one of the top admissions directors in the country," said Larry Bethune, Berklee's vice president for student affairs. "She was a consummate professional." Ginn leaves her husband, Edward, daughters Claire and Julie, and her son Geoffrey.
Armand Zildjian, president and chairman of the renowned Zildjian cymbal and drumstick company, died in his sleep December 26 at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 81. Zildjian sat on Berklee's board of overseers and was a longtime supporter, trustee, and friend of Berklee. He created new product innovations for the Zildjian Company in response to the ever-changing needs of musicians and remained deeply involved in the operation of the company until his death.
Word has also reached us that Andrew Packard '01 of Newport, ME, died suddenly in October 2002. He was 23. A trumpeter, Packard majored in performance during his studies at Berklee.
Bassist Louis Terzini III '89 of Norcross, GA, died in a motorcycle accident on March 28, 2002.
Jason Zaintz '00, a guitarist from New York City has also passed away.