|Elliot J. Topalian
Elliott J. Topalian, 70, of North Syracuse, died Wednesday
August 27, 2003 at Crouse Hospital. He was a native and lifetime
resident of the area and had lived in North Syracuse since 1970.
He was an Army Veteran. Mr. Topalian graduated from Syracuse University
with Bachelors and Masters degrees in music. He retired in 1995
from North Syracuse Central Schools where he was Associate Director
of Music at CNS High School and previously was instrumental music
instructor at Gillette Road Middle School.
His trumpet teachers included Pedro Lozano (one of Rafael Méndez's
teachers), and Sidney Mear (Eastman school of Music).
As a lead player at the Four Rivers Club and State Fairs in Syracuse,
his performance credits include playing trumpet for Milton Berle,
Jimmy Durante, Connie Francis, Nat King Cole, Jerry Vale, Betty
Hutton and Pete Condoli, Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme,
The Four Freshman, Four Aces, Four Lads, The Platters, Engelbert
Humperdink, Sammy Davis Jr., Martha Raye, Louis Armstrong, Xavier
Cugat, Lou Rawls, Peter Lawford, Sergio Franki, Paul Anka, The Ink
Spots, Bobby Darin, and others. He also performed in several symphonies,
numerous ice shows and circuses.
His long list of students includes Lee Thornburg (The Tonight Show
Band), Scott Thornburg (Western Michigan University), Jim Ward (Atlantic
City Casinos Lead Trumpet), John Raschella (Syracuse Symphony Orchestra),
and Dr. David Champouillon (East Tennessee State University). He
was a member and Vice President of Local 78 Musicians Union, a member
of several musical organizations, and was listed in Who's Who of