Professor Emeritus John Bavicchi of Newton, MA, former Composition Department faculty member, died in his sleep on December 9, 2012. He was 90.
Bavicchi initially studied engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cornell University. But after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he began studying composition at New England Conservatory and, later, at Harvard with Walter Piston. Bavicchi joined the Berklee faculty in 1964 and, together with William Maloof, established the Composition Department.
Bavicchi—a classical musician to the core—likened his Berklee experience to a square peg fitting into a round hole. He took joy in sharing classical music with his jazz and classical students and said, “I never tried to wean anyone away from another style of music. My role at the school was to let the students know that there were other kinds of music out there beside pop and jazz.” Bavicchi was friends with celebrated jazz musicians Gerry Mulligan and Art Farmer, and a number of Berklee’s jazz students took his classes. Many later joined the Berklee faculty.
Bavicchi conducted and composed for a variety of Boston-area orchestras and ensembles. He wrote hundreds of works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo instruments, and chorus. His compositions were firmly rooted in 20th-century techniques. He cited composers Paul Hindemith and Béla Bartók as influential on his writing as well as Romantic-era composer Robert Schumann.
Bavicchi was also an avid New England Patriots fan, held season tickets, and attended every home game for years. He is survived by his partner, Beverly Lewis, and his daughter, Janet.
Charles “Chuck Drake” Dracopoulos ’77 of Largo, FL, died on September 6. He was the son of Chris and the late Theresa Dracopoulos, and the brother of Theodora “Dorri” Dracopoulos. He was an active music performer for more than 30 years, specializing in voice-overs and writing radio and television jingles for corporate clients.
Berklee professor Steve Prosser ’79 died on October 10 of complications after a fall. He was 60. Upon graduating in 1979, he joined the Berklee faculty. From 1992 to 1998, Prosser was the assistant chair of the Ear Training Department, and from 1998 to 2008, he was its chair. He also earned a Ph.D. from Boston College and a law degree from Suffolk University. He was an active studio vocalist, composer, jazz pianist, arranger, and clinician. Prosser was the author of the books Essential Ear Training (Berklee Press) and Intervallic Ear Training for Musicians (Advance Music). He is survived by his brother, Mark Prosser, and his former wife of 16 years (Berklee professor), Kris Adams.
Doug Quadrano ’74 of Milford, OH, passed away on September 27. He was 58. Quadrano attended Moorehead State University in Kentucky before enrolling at Berklee. A saxophonist, he spent his career performing throughout the United States and Canada. He is survived by his mother, Anne Quadrano.
Jill (Seifers) Walsh ’91 of Nashville, TN, died unexpectedly in December. She was 47. After leaving Berklee, Walsh moved to New York City to begin working as a jazz vocalist and became a faculty member at the New School and New York University. During her career, she recorded with notable artists, including Erasure, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Chris Cheek, and others.
Word has reached us that Christopher Peterson ’79 of Springfield, MA, passed away on June 15, 2006. He was 49 at the time of his death. Peterson was an accomplished acoustic and electric bassist and arranger.