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In memoriam: John Warner Swallow

October 24, 2012

John Swallow, Professor Emeritus of Music, died Saturday, October 20, 2012 after a long illness.

In a message to the School, Dean Robert Blocker wrote of the community’s “admiration and affection” for Professor Swallow, who came to the School of Music in 1965 as a Lecturer of Trombone. Swallow retired in 2001 as Professor of Trombone, adjunct, and received emeritus status.

John Warner Swallow was born in 1924 in Oneida, New York. A member of the New York Brass Quintet for many years, he was considered one the most important trombone performers and teachers in the United States. He enjoyed performance associations with the Utah Symphony under Maurice Abravanel and the Chicago Symphony under Fritz Reiner, and was a member of groups such as Gunther Schuller’s Twentieth Century Innovations and Arthur Weisberg’s Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. He was the subject of a doctoral thesis by Brett Arthur Shuster, “John Swallow: A Study of His Life and Influence in the Trombone World” (Arizona State University, 2002).

“John was both artist and teacher in the most exemplary fashion,” wrote Blocker, ”and his ready smile and collegial manner endeared him to students, faculty, and staff alike. His distinguished contributions to YSM and to music will endure through the lives and work of students fortunate enough to have studied with him.”

According to the family, a commemorative event will be held next summer.

Click HERE for an audio interview with John Swallow by Abbie Conant.

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