Wayne Rapier

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I first met Wayne Rapier while I was a student at Oberlin College during the late 1960's. Wayne was the oboe professor during those years, and I had the opportunity to hear his beautiful playing numerous times on faculty recitals.

Years later, I purchased all of the Harold Wright live recitals and concerts which Wayne produced through Boston Records (didn't everyone?). I insisted that my best students get these CDs, since they illustrated Mr. Wright's artistry so well.

When my friend David Hattner suggested that I try to put out a CD of Daniel Bonade's performances, Wayne was the first person, and the only person who came to mind. I couldn't imagine approaching anyone else with the idea. Wayne requested that I mail some tapes of Bonade's playing to him, and within days gave me the go-ahead to do the the CD. His decision was based solely upon his conviction that Bonade's playing contained great artistry; the kind of artistry everyone needs to hear. During the transfer sessions, it was Wayne's perfect pitch which allowed our engineer, Ward Marston, to fine-tune the CD. How many CDs we might sell, or how much money we might or might not make never entered into our conversations. Likewise, when Clarence Beale and I dreamed of putting out a CD of the playing of Ralph McLane, all Wayne needed in order to come aboard was a tape of McLane's playing.

Wayne was always supportive of this kind of endeavor, and all wind players owe him a debt of gratitude. He was also a very kind, warm, and funny man. He loved to tell stories about Marcel Tabuteau, Al Genovese, and John DeLancie which were always interesting and frequently hilarious. I never heard him utter a mean-spirited or nasty word. It was a great pleasure for me to work with him on our projects, and I will miss him greatly, as will many wind players across the country.

Larry Guy, New York

Wayne was not only my teacher, he was my friend. We spent many an afternoon talking about music, the business, and of course Marcel Tabuteau. One summer I remember was called "the endless summer of gouging and splitting cane". This also in tradition of "student chores".

One moment I am not proud of happened right before I went to play in the Colorado Symphony. To make a little extra cash I helped Wayne paint his house in Havertown. After a sumptuous French-style lunch up the ladder I went. After a few strokes of the brush the paint came down all over the front of the house. I figured I was "dead meat"; if not from Wayne then from Toni - but it was not to be. He handled the episode in his elegant Southern Gentlemanly manner - we never spoke of this incident again. Needlessly I could never apologize enough

Our deepest sympathies, from Robert Joell and Family in Philadelphia

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