Professor James W. Mosher, noted Central New York musician, passed away at Crouse Hospital after a short illness on Tuesday, April 20, 2004. He was a respected teacher, trumpeter, conductor, and bandsman for over 70 years.
Born on 1st November 1925 in Olean to Wilbur and Margaret Mosher, he moved to Syracuse in the late 1930s. He graduated from the former Valley High School in 1943, was a Naval veteran of WWII, and received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Syracuse University in 1950 and 1956 respectively. He was a charter member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. In 1950, Professor Mosher established the music program in the Jamesville-DeWitt school district where he worked from 1955-1964. Onondaga Community College recruited him in 1964 where he served with distinction for 29 years, achieving the rank of full professor, Chairman of the Music Department and Chairman of the Faculty. He also served as Adjunct Professor of Music at Syracuse University.
Professor Mosher was a Life Member of the NYS Teachers Association and was its Chairman for two years; he was a member and president of the Syracuse University Music Alumni Association. From 1950-2003, he was an Adjudicator for the NYSSMA annual competition. He was a member of the Syracuse Federation of Musicians and president and member of the Onondaga County Music Educators Association. He was the personnel manager of the Syracuse Municipal Band and a member of the International Trumpet Guild. He was in great demand as a trumpet teacher with scores of private students during his career. For 51 years he played trumpet for the Mario DeSantis Orchestra. He was musical director for over 50 musical theater shows and played in over 150 shows.
He was also a member of several local bands including the Johnny Latone, the Little Big Band, and Fred Palmer's Polecat Jazz Band. He was a member of the Savage Club and Entertainers Club based in Ithaca. For several years he served as the Bandmaster of the Salvation Army of the Syracuse Area.
The professor was widely published, most notably his "Companion to the Arban's Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet." He was a member of Outstanding Educators of America. His students hold chairs in major symphonies, universities, and professional groups. He was a left-handed trumpeter, performing his entire career on specially-made Bach left-handed trumpets.