Berklee Today

Final Cadence

Ron Spagnardi '63

George Sampson Jr. '51 of Holyoke, MA, died December 5, 2003, at the Soldiers Home. He was 75. Active in the Musicians Union, Sampson backed many well-known artists in his younger years and served as an arranger and conductor for the Holyoke Stage Band. He leaves his wife, Jane, two sons and two daughters, and three grandchildren.

Anthony Elia '61 of Kingwood, TX, passed away on November 9, 2003. He was 62. Originally from Malden, Elia was a pianist and led his own band. Most recently he played piano for his church.

Ronald Spagnardi '63 of Cedar Grove, NJ, founder and publisher of Modern Drummer Publications, died on September 22, 2003 following a battle with cancer. He was 60. Prior to founding Modern Drummer in 1977, Spagnardi was a teacher and performer. Today, Modern Drummer is the most widely read drum magazine in the world. Spagnardi was profiled in the Fall 2002 issue of Berklee today. Spagnardi leaves his wife, Isabel, and daughter, Lori. The Ronald Spagnardi Memorial Scholarship has been set up at Berklee. For information, call (617) 747-2569 or e-mail

Michael Savas '65 of Fort Lauderdale, FL, died on October 15, 2003. A composer, bassist, and pianist, Savas had performed with the Fort Lauderdale Symphony Orchestra, composed TV jingles, and wrote music reviews for the press.

James T. Metheny Jr. '75 of Belle, WV, passed away recently. He was a pianist and songwriter and had composed more than 235 songs. He played with the Area Code 304 Band throughout West Virginia.

Paul Moen '75 of Bremerton, WA, died suddenly at home on October 10, 2003. He was 51. A tenor saxophonist, Moen had played with and arranged music for the Buddy Rich and Lionel Hampton bands. During his career, he was featured on a dozen albums as a leader and backup musician.

Glenn Allen '89 of Holliston, MA, died December 4, 2003, at Milford-Whitinsville Regional Hospital. He was 36. Allen, a music teacher, pianist, and songwriter, performed with local acts Bellevue Cadillac and Ricky Valenti. He also worked as an audiovisual media specialist for Harvard University. He leaves his companion Jean Ferro, his parents, and a brother.

Edward McCarthy '90 of San Rafael, CA, died on July 24. He was 38. McCarthy, a bassist during his Berklee years, was undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the time of his passing. He leaves his wife, Carol.

Leroy Southers

Word has reached us that James Harber '91 of Atlanta, GA, died in January of 2003. He was 35. Harber, a drummer, earned his degree in professional music from Berklee. He worked as a technical support engineer and systems administrator. He leaves his parents and three sisters.

Associate Professor of Composition Leroy Southers passed away on November 9, 2003. He was 62. He had taught at Berklee since 1993. A talented oboist and composer, Southers had written more than 50 works and performed with many orchestras. Southers is survived by his companion Jacqueline Nichols, son Erik, and daughter Jill. A tribute concert to Southers is planned for fall 2004.