MILWAUKEE - Hal Leonard Corporation joins the music industry in mourning the loss of John Moss. Born in Traverse City, the lifelong Michigander passed away at his home in Beulah on April 22nd at the age of 62.
For more than two decades, Moss had been an exclusive arranger and composer for Hal Leonard, the world's largest music print publisher. Moss was as versatile as he was talented, writing everything from band and orchestra works, to back-up orchestrations, choral accompaniments, and supplementary music for the company's flagship educational series, Essential Elements.
Moss grew up in Beulah and graduated from Benzie Central High School in 1964. He attended Central Michigan University, where he majored in music and played in the marching band. After graduation, he taught music in several school districts, and then attended Michigan State University, where he worked on his master's degree while teaching music theory. Early in his career, he wrote and arranged music for Audiograph Productions in East Lansing.
During his long tenure with Hal Leonard, Moss relished the opportunity to work with John Williams. He transcribed several of Williams' movie scores for the United States Marine Band, working with the famous film composer in Washington D.C. to prepare for a monumental concert at Kennedy Center.
Hal Leonard Vice President of Instrumental Publications Paul Lavender reflects, "John Moss was one of the most inspired and highly skilled musicians of our time. From Mozart and Vaughan-Willams, to Nelson Riddle and John Williams, studying the great composers and arrangers was a lifelong joy for him."
He continues, "Those experiences were reflected in John's own meticulous scores - superb craftsmanship that gave us so many wonderful publications for nearly 25 years. His modest, genial manner made him a great friend and colleague to all who knew him. We are fortunate that John's music will enrich the band and orchestra repertoire for years to come."
Michael Sweeney, director of band publications for Hal Leonard, comments, "John's passion and enthusiasm for music, particularly band music, was inexhaustible. In all his writing, the effective exploitation of the nuances, colors and textures of any type of ensemble was unparalleled. Regardless the difficulty level, style or genre, John's writing always stood above the pack."
A memorial service for Moss will be held in Michigan on July 7, 2010 at the Benzie Township Cemetery. Friends and musicians are invited to participate in a musical celebration during and after the service. For additional details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the music department at Benzie Central Schools, the William Rivard Scholarship Fund at Central Michigan University, or to a school of your choice.