Henry Allen
Henry Allen

Obituary of Henry W. Allen

Henry Allen, 92 of Pompey, NY passed away quietly Thursday afternoon February 27. Born in Binghamton, Henry called Syracuse home for the major part of his life, always remembering the bustling city it was in the 1950s. Henry was a US Army vet, having served as a bandsman in the Panama Canal Zone following World War II. He was a graduate of New York’s original High School of Music and Art, Syracuse University, and C.W. Post College. Henry was a consummate musician, with eclectic tastes from early music through Bach, Mozart, Brahms, and Mahler to contemporary music, jazz, dixieland, and the best of 60s rock and roll. He eventually taught instrumental music in the NYS public schools on Long Island and in Central New York, and was Director of Bands at C.W. Post College of Long Island University. As a performing musician, Henry played clarinet under Toscanini, Koussevitsky, Bernstein, Copland, and Mitropoulis. He played with the Syracuse Symphony, Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, the Utica Symphony, and Erie (PA) Symphony. He was concertmaster, soloist, and First Sergeant in the US Army 3rd Army Band, the 71st Army Band, the 60th Army Band, and the 98th Division Army Reserve Band. He played for shows such as the Shrine, Ringling Brothers, Cole Brothers and Clyde Beattie circuses, Lipizzaner horse shows, and for Liberace, Red Skelton, Tom Jones, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Tommy Tune, and Doc Cheatam. He played for the local Pompeiian Players’ shows, and in the Jack Kreischer Orchestra, Stan Collella’s big band, the Soda Ash Six, and the Bear Cat Jass Band. He was inducted into the Phi Mu Alpha music honorary fraternity. Henry loved fishing, gardening, his dogs, and making people laugh. He is survived by his wife Eileen (50 years!); their children, Katherine (David) of Alexandria VA, Aleksandr of Brooklyn, Nikolas of Rochester, and Basil of Syracuse; as well as children, Helen (Tom) of Baldwinsville and Philip of Colorado; and grandchildren, Mara, Devora, Graham, and Hilary. A memorial event will be announced at a future date. Contributions in his name may be made to the Nature Conservancy, Syracuse Shakespeare in the Park, or the Society for New Music. Or attend a live performance featuring local musicians. Arrangements are with Fairchild & Meech DeWitt Chapel.
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A memorial Event will be announced at a later date.

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