Robert Denaro ’50 of Mashpee, MA, died on September 9, 2017, after a long illness. Denaro earned his Berklee diploma in composition and arranging, making use of funds from the GI Bill. He later operated teaching studios in Lexington and Waltham, MA. He leaves his wife, Leonora; two sons and two daughters; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Richard Wright ’60 of Indianapolis, IN, died August 17 after a battle with multiple myeloma. He was 83. After earning his diploma at Berklee, Wright joined the faculty and later moved to Las Vegas, where, he taught music and performed with and arranged for top artists on the Las Vegas Strip. He leaves five children and 11 grandchildren.
Gil Small ’87 of Bronx, NY, passed away on July 22 after battling cancer. He was 53. After graduating from Berklee, he worked as a studio engineer and producer, and operated Groove City Entertainment. He produced a range of artists and released albums featuring his wife, vocalist Robin Small ’89. Their son, Amir Small ’16, is a professional pianist.
Max Frederick Wolff ’91 of Tempe, AZ, died on November 15, 2016. He was 46. A career musician, Wolff played drums on an album released internationally on Metal Blade Records titled Front Towards Enemy with his band the Fallen. He is survived by his mother, Susan Wolff; and brother, Michael Wolff.
Associate professor John Marasco ’84 died on September 11 after a valiant fight with lymphoma. He was 65. Marasco began playing the guitar at eight years old. After graduating from Berklee, he joined the Guitar Department faculty, where he taught for 34 years. An active performer, Marasco backed such artists as the Lettermen, Joan Rivers, and the White Heat Orchestra, to name a few. For 28 years, he played with the faculty ensemble BeBop Guitars. He leaves his wife of 32 years, Connie (Jordan) Marasco.
Associate professor Mike Deneen of Watertown, MA, passed away on July 10 after a struggle with cancer. He was 54. Deneen was a graduate of Milton Academy and earned his B.A. from Yale University in 1985, cum laude, with a major in political science and a minor in music. He joined the MP&E Department faculty in 2011. Deneen and Jon Lupfer cofounded Q Division Studios in 1995 and Q Division Records in 2000. Deneen was a five-time Boston Music Award winner in the best producer category and had worked with Aimee Mann ’80, Morphine, Letters to Cleo, the Click Five, and Guster, among countless others. He leaves his wife, Jen Trynin.
Retired Berklee faculty member and chief engineer Bill Gitt passed away on June 8. He was 86. Gitt designed and supervised the installation of nearly all the studio wiring and equipment in Berklee’s first studios and maintained the equipment until his retirement eight years ago.