Recent Passings:

We are very sad to report the sudden passing of musician Jerry González (M&A ’67). He died at his home in Madrid, Spain on October 1, 2018 as the result of smoke inhalation from a fire. He was 69 years old.

He was a prominent figure in in Latin jazz; a talented trumpeter and percussionist. The Fort Apache Band, which he formed with his bass-playing brother, Andy González (M&A ’69), almost 40 years ago, was known for being influential and adventurous – reflecting the music of New York. He is quoted as saying “This is New York music. We play music influenced by everything we’ve experienced here. We play Mongo Santamaria, John Coltrane and James Brown all at the same time.”  We extend our sympathies to Jerry’s brother Andy and the rest of his family.

Read the full New York Times obituary here.

Arthur Mitchell (PA ’52), the groundbreaking founding director of the Dance Theater of Harlem, passed away on September 19. He was 84.

Mr. Mitchell, following his graduation from Performing Arts, was hired by George Balanchine in 1955 to dance for the New York City Ballet, where he dazzled audiences until 1968. In 1969 he co-founded the Dance Theater of Harlem, as he felt an urgency following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King to provide the children of Harlem the same opportunities he had been given.

Mr. Mitchell became artistic director emeritus of Dance Theater of Harlem in 2011. Just this past August he returned to oversee the production of one of his older ballets, “Tones II.” It is to be performed in April of 2019, to commemorate Dance Theater’s 50th anniversary.

Arthur Miller had a passion for dance and believed in the trans formative power of the arts. He once said, “Anyone living without the arts in their lives is living in a desert.”

Read his obituary in the New York Times, and listen to a piece on NPR.

Judge César Quiñones, M&A ’42, passed away in August 2018 at age 93. According to the the New York Law Journal, “he liked to say that he played on the same bandstands as Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri—just not at the same time. He was someone who tempered retribution with compassion. He was fair, committed and effective. For instance, when a Spanish interpreter was not available, he would assume the role in order to expedite the proceedings and not deny the parties language access.”

We are sorry to report the passing of Terry Wachtell Ledley (M&A ’42), who died on July 25, 2018, in Laurel, MD. A lover of nature, avid equestrian, and Founder of TROT (Trail Riders of Today), she was known for promoting and protecting horse trails, and was honored with a trail in her name along the Patuxent Reservoir. Born on July 27, 1926, she was an accomplished pianist before attending Queens College, majoring in music, and completed a MA in mathematics from Columbia University. She subsequently worked at the Bureau of Standards, where she was one of the world’s first computer programmers on the team that developed SEAC (Standards Eastern Automatic Computer), the first programmable computer.


We are sad to report the passing of the Honorable César Quiñones, one of the founders of the Latino Judges Association.  He passed away on April 26, 2018 at age 93. After graduating M&A in 1942, he paid his way through Brooklyn Law School by playing piano with a group at the Caborojeno Club in Manhattan. Judge Quiñones was a founding member of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, former Chairman of the Board of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Legal Services Corporation and past president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Kings County. He was appointed to the NYC Family Court in 1970, and in 1987 was appointed to the Court of Claims. In 1996 he became a Judicial Hearing Officer in the Domestic Violence Part, until 2016.

We are sad to report the passing of Herbert W. Rogoff, M&A ’44, who died at his home in Sarasota, Florida on June 17, 2018. He was a cartoonist, illustrator, writer and comic book editor, as well as producer of his wife Helen’s PBS series “Welcome to My Studio” that ran in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Irwin A.Kahn June 11,1931-April 17, 2018
Irwin Kahn graduated High School of Music & Art in 1950. He graduated as a student in the Art Department where his talent and love of the fine arts flourished. His career led him to the world of contract Interior Design. His success in this field was all about wooing his clients with his quick drawings and sketches, not to mention his winning personality. However, Irwin was always an artist. Whenever he could he was creating: pen and ink drawings, painting murals, designing jewelry. He started painting on canvas again in his late 70’s. He had a special place in his heart for HSMS. He always attended his reunions with his special friends and spoke so fondly of them. There is an Alumni & Friends Irwin Kahn Memorial Scholarship Fund being established.

We are sad to report the passing of Muriel Nathan Puder, M&A ’58, who died on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

We are very sad to report the tragic death of Aaron Padwee, LaGuardia ’91, who was killed while riding his bicycle in Queens on May 29, 2018. Aaron grew up in Park Slope Brooklyn and worked as a carpenter and set designer with Local 52 Motion Studio Picture Mechanics. He enjoyed getting out in nature when he wan’t working, and was known to have climbed volcanoes in Chile, up mountains of northern Greece and hiking through the Adirondacks.


Joyce Geller Bradford passed away on April 27, 2018 in Sarasota, Florida. Following M&A, Joyce went on to graduate from Brooklyn College in 1948. She was an accomplished voice and choral teacher in New York City for over 25 years, an active member of the UFT, a conductor and an opera singer with a three-octave range. Early in her career, she performed in the Midwest and in New York City and sang with Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia on the radio during the NYC newspaper strike. Joyce took a break to raise her children and resumed performing when she sang with the Key Chorale at Sarasota’s Van Wezel Hall. The other activity that she excelled at and enjoyed immensely was playing tennis at Palm Aire, which she did throughout her retirement.