Tag Archives: Arranger

Bill Holcombe Dies

From the Times:

Wilford ‘Bill’ L. Holcombe Jr. EWING – Wilford “Bill” L. Holcombe Jr., 85, died peacefully at home on Sunday, April 25, surrounded by his loving wife of 60 years and his children. Next to his bed was the piano he used to compose music. Born in Trenton, Bill was a lifelong area resident and graduate of Trenton High School. He studied flute at the Juilliard School in New York, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in musicology. As a composer and arranger, Bill worked with Tommy Dorsey, 101 Strings, Peter Nero, and over 100 symphony orchestras, nationally and internationally. He also wrote more than 15 film scores. Bill founded Musicians Publications 35 years ago. Bill played flute, clarinet and saxophone and in his early career performed with Tommy Dorsey, Tex Beneke, Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, and the New York radio station WMGM “Theatre of the Air.” He was also a Decca Records staff player. In recent years Bill had appeared as a soloist with many symphony orchestras around the country in a show entitled “Bravo Big Bands,” for which he wrote most of the arrangements. He also led and played soprano sax in the Philadelphia Saxophone Quartet. Son of the late Wilford L. Sr. and Isabel Tompkins Holcombe, he is survived by his wife, Helen Mooney Holcombe; son, Wilford L. Holcombe III, and daughters, Barbara Goehrig, Nancy Haber, Jeanette Schanilec, Heather Holcombe, and Kirsten Feldstein. Also surviving is his long-time personal assistant, Mario Singh, who is like family. Additionally, Bill is survived by 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, and many cousins. Family and friends may call on Wednesday from 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Blackwell Memorial Home, 21 N. Main St., Pennington, NJ 08534. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Samaritan Hospice at www.samaritanhospice.org. The family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to Samaritan Hospice caregivers and Edward Ghanney for their exceptional care.

Sad. You will be missed Sir.

Another Obit here.

Bill Holcombe Tribute Concert

This is sad news. Holcombe has written a ton of stuff…..his Jazz Flute Concerto is one of my favorites.

From: Ricky Lombardo
Subject: [FLUTE] Bill Holcombe Tribute Concert
Date: April 13, 2010 1:55:13 PM PDT

Dear Flute Friends,

I attended a concert to honor Bill Holcombe this past Sunday, a tribute to the man and his music, put on by 40 of his friends. Many may not know it but Bill is very ill with terminal cancer. He is very frail and now in a wheelchair. Many of you know Bill Holcombe for his flute arrangements. However, most of the music world knows him for his work with concert band, strings, sax quartets, brass quintets and jazz band. He has had a career many musicians can only dream about. This concert was totally his arrangements and compositions. None of his flute works were showcased. His friends must have traveled from all over to be part of this one time event because I and the local musicians performing did not recognize most of the band members. Two links were sent in an e-mail I received the night before the concert. The first is a to an article in one of our local newspapers. The second is for a facebook page set up by someone for Bill. I thought many would like to know about Bill and his condition as well as reading about his amazing music career.



Although this was an amazing concert with phenomenal musicians, it was sad to see Bill in this condition. However, he still has that smile and of course a lot to say between songs. His wife Helen of 60 years was going to sing a song but didn’t in the end. Although we don’t see that much of one another, Bill and I live only about 15 minutes apart.

Ricky Lombardo