Anthony Pasquarelli started playing professional trumpet as a teenager, going on to play with the Civic Light Opera and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He played on radio and with television orchestras. And for 47 years, he taught the trumpet to generations of Carnegie Mellon University students.
“The boss was a very demanding teacher,” said former student Lou Casini. “You couldn’t go on to the next exercise until you had mastered the one at hand. Everything had to be done the proper way, with the right phrasing, articulation, intonation and dynamic. Above and beyond that, it had to be musical – not just a group of notes played correctly. It had to come from the inner soul and project what the composer was trying to say.”
A group of his students honored “The boss,” on the occasion of his 25th year at CMU, commissioning a piece composed by a former student and played by the CMU orchestra. Ten years later, they commissioned another piece. And to mark Pasquarelli’s 45th year at CMU, they did it again. After collecting funds for that last event, they had some money left over – about $5,000. Former student Jack Driscoll suggested starting a fund so that long after Pasquarelli was gone, he would still go on helping students.
“Jack Driscoll said, ‘There’s a foundation in Pittsburgh that works with smaller funds, and they’ll help it grow into something larger,’” Casini said of the decision to contact The Pittsburgh Foundation. “It’s been a wonderful experience.”
Pasquarelli passed away in February of 2011, but his fund is continuing his legacy, supporting students in the study of trumpet. The fund made its first gift two years ago. On June 13, 2011 – Pasquarelli’s birthday – the City of Pittsburgh decreed it was Anthony L. Pasquarelli Day. A memorial concert for Pasquarelli was held July 17, 2011 at CAPA High School.