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Weston Dunwoody Baxter Jr. '49 of Alpharetta, GA, passed away on April 27. He was 83. Baxter worked as a jazz saxophonist, dance bandleader, musical contractor, and attorney. From 1946 to 1947, he was a member of the United States Navy Band on the USS Pocono and later graduated from Schillinger House (subsequently named Berklee College of Music) and Atlanta Law School. He is survived by his children, Kevin Bryan Baxter, Keith Duane, and Taylor Leigh Baxter; former wives Wanda Hodges Baxter, mother of his three children, and Camille Redfern Baxter.
Emilio P. Sonny Mancini '61 of Milford, MA, died on June 1 surrounded by his family at the Milford Regional Medical Center after a long illness. He was 73. Mancini served as a member of the 181st Infantry of the Massachusetts National Guard. He later studied at the Butera School of Art in Boston and Berklee College of Music. He also founded his own company, where he worked as a sign painter. He is survived by his wife, Helen Mancini.
Erling Kroner '74 died on March 2, 2011, surrounded by family at his home in Copenhagen, Denmark, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 67. Kroner was a trombonist and bandleader who began playing professionally during the early 1960s in Germany with the Dixieland Stompers. He also played avant-garde music with saxophonist John Tchicai, and rock with Melvis and His Gentlemen.
In 1967, Kroner formed his own group, which he led for the rest of his life. During the 1970s, Kroner was a member of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Big Band in Hamburg, Germany. From 1973 to 1986, Kroner played with the Danish Radio Big Band and with the Leif Johansson Orchestra and White Orange, a band led by Lasse Beijbom. From the mid-1990s, he was the coleader of the Beijbom-Kroner Big Band. In 2004, Kroner and the American baritone saxophonist Ed Epstein formed the band Bari-Bone Connection and recorded the album Bari My Heart.
Gary J. Radosta '82 of Marlborough, MA, died on May 1 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, after a long illness. He was 54. Radosta attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute as well as Berklee. He worked for 25 years as a senior consultant of software development by the Olav Corp. of Holliston until illness forced his retirement. Through the years he performed with and acted as instructor for the 27th Lancers Drum and Bugle Corps of Boston and the Dukes of Marlborough Drum and Bugle Corps. He is survived by his wife, Katherine Radosta.
Miriam Hyman '83, a longtime Brookline, MA, resident, died peacefully on May 22 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 53. Hyman was a professional saxophone player and the associate director of the John Payne Music Center in Brookline Village for 26 years. She was highly regarded for her music and poetry.
Born in Detroit, MI, Hyman grew up in Newton and earned a degree in English from Boston University. She didn't start playing the saxophone until age 22, when she began studying with John Payne, and later continued at Berklee. She led the Miriam Hyman Trio and Quartet and also played with the Blues Cousins, the Ruby Redd Band, Winnies Pub Band, and Split Image. Her alto-sax stylings were heard in many venues in the Boston area for 25 years. She is survived by her husband, Dan Weiner; her mother, Phyllis Hyman; sisters Leah and Beth; brother Ed; and nephews Jeremy and Alex.
We recently learned that Drew Cacciottoli '79 passed away in September of 2008.