Trumpet teacher and brass arranger R. Bernard Fitzgerald died on Sunday, February 20 in Lexington, Kentucky. He was 93. Bernie, as he was known, retired from the University of Kentucky School of Music in 1976 after 45 years of teaching. He had taught at the University of Kentucky for 20 years, serving as Director of Bands for seven years, as the trumpet professor, with a brief stint as chairman of the Department of Music. He was a driving force in the development of the music education program at the University of Kentucky in his later years.
Fitzgerald also taught at Jordan College of Music, Emporia State Teachers College, University of Idaho and the University of Texas where he conducted the concert band. He earned music degrees at Oberlin College and Jordan College of Music. He is well known for his arrangements for brass instruments, particularly for trumpet which he played and taught. He was a member of the College Band Directors National Association, serving in 1950 as its 6th president. He was also a member of the American Bandmasters Association and MENC (now MENC: The National Association for Music Education) as well as the Southeastern Composers League and ASCAP. He was closely associated with the Contemporary Music Project and specifically as a director of the Young Composers Project.