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Raymond D. Crisara
  • In honor of Mr. Crisara, contributions may be made to the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) Legacy Fund in Memory of Raymond Crisara. Please address to: D. Kim Dunnick, Legacy Fund Director, 10 Lagrande Ct., Ithaca, NY 14850

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“I had the pleasure of studying with Ray from 1979 to the end of 1984. Ray became my inspiration and mentor and taught me how to play trumpet the non...Read More »
1 of 34 | Posted by: Allan Gibson - Fayetteville, AR

“I miss having lunch with Ray,(at least four times a year), I was looking at a old picture of the City Service Band of America,with him sitting in the...Read More »
2 of 34 | Posted by: Rex Sagle - Houston, TX

“And the Angels are surely singing....... Such a legend of a trumpet player and mentor on life. I studied classical performance on scholarship at U.T...Read More »
3 of 34 | Posted by: Daniel Smith - Austin, TX

“Sounds like a wonderful person who left the world a better place. He is very much missed on this Father's Day. RIP. ”
4 of 34 | Posted by: Donna Wood - Endicott, NY

“We will miss seeing Ray's warm smile and his friendship.What a truly special man he was, we were so lucky to be his neighbors. We will miss him so...Read More »
5 of 34 | Posted by: David and Diana Carr - Austin, TX

“I only had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Crisara once, when my husband and former student, Jeff, brought me to the music building at UT. Jeff and I...Read More »
6 of 34 | Posted by: Jeanne King - Katy, TX

“Every memory of Cortland, Westchester, watching Como, is filled with the familial kiss and hug from Ray. I hope I grow up to be like him. ”
7 of 34 | Posted by: Tom Biviano - Victor, NY

Ray, Al Stewart and me on a concert
8 of 34 | Posted by: George Maniere

“As one of Mr. Crisara's many trumpet students during his time at UT, I can attest to his greatness not only as a player and teacher, but also as a...Read More »
9 of 34 | Posted by: Tom Strait - Moorhead, MN

“I remember so many great lessons with Ray. I eventually got to work with him a bit (which was a thrill). Ray was my trumpet teacher but he taught me...Read More »
10 of 34 | Posted by: George Maniere - Sparkill, NY

“Sending love and sympathy to Andrea, Ed, Lauren and Emily Snouffer. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Tom and Andrea Jaber ”
11 of 34 | Posted by: Thomas Jaber - Missouri City, TX

“I remember so many great lessons with Ray. I eventually got to work with him a bit (which was a thrill). Ray was my trumpet teacher but he taught me...Read More »
12 of 34 | Posted by: A friend

“I had the privilege of studying with Mr. Crisara for three years in high school prior to working with him as a trumpet performance major at UT. To...Read More »
13 of 34 | Posted by: Jeff King - Katy, TX

“Dear Cina, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I have such wonderful memories of visiting the Crisara residence every week for...Read More »
14 of 34 | Posted by: Connie Tomaino - Garrison, NY

“My condolences to Mr. Crisara's wife and family. He was my trumpet professor at UT in the late 80's. He was an inspirational player and person....Read More »
15 of 34 | Posted by: Richard Flores - San Antonio, TX

“Dear Angela,I am so deeply saddened by the loss of a great trumpet artist, musician and human being. Ray was one the kindest men I have ever known,...Read More »
16 of 34 | Posted by: Ray Sasaki - Austin, TX - Friend

“My heart goes out to the members of Mr. Crisara's family at this time. What a wonderful legacy he has left behind in his students and family and the...Read More »
17 of 34 | Posted by: Mary Smith

“Dear Angela and family: The sad news of Ray's passing comes to me here in Hong Kong where I am attending a few of the UT Wind Ensemble's concerts in...Read More »
18 of 34 | Posted by: Douglas Dempster - Austin

“A long time friend and neighbor. We'll miss you Ray!Fred "Moe" Snyder ”
19 of 34 | Posted by: A friend

“One of the highlights of my life was meeting Dr. Crisara at the final reunion of the Ernest Williams Alumni Association in Reading. A great man - a ...Read More »
20 of 34 | Posted by: A friend

“Cina, please accept my condolences on the loss of your dad. Reading his obituary, I wish I'd had the opportunity to know him! May the peace of...Read More »
21 of 34 | Posted by: A friend

“Ray was a great and gentle man. For those of us who were not his trumpet students, he gave lessons in living a joyful and grateful life. He saw...Read More »
22 of 34 | Posted by: Steve & Nancy Rooks - Austin, TX

“Hello Angela, Learning today of Ray's passing leaves me with both great sadness and wonderful memories of our New York years. I always felt good...Read More »
23 of 34 | Posted by: Al Stewart - Sarasota, FL

“My heart is with you, Angela, and your children. As I look at Ray's beautifulsmile, it is easy to remember so many timesat 5 Paradise Drive for...Read More »
24 of 34 | Posted by: John McSpadden - College Station, TX

“Mr. Crisara was a wonderful teacher. He was an amazing musician in the finest sense of the word. He could play in any style. I took some lessons...Read More »
25 of 34 | Posted by: Lawrence Malin - New York, NY

“Ray such a special person, I called up on him to participate in the Tribute to Harvey Phillips in the year 2000, Harvey and Ray were great friends,...Read More »
26 of 34 | Posted by: Rex Sagle - Houston, VA - friend

“We are saddened by the passing of Ray Crisara. As a member of the West Point Band in the late 1950s, I had the good fortune of meeting and studying...Read More »
27 of 34 | Posted by: Joe and Peggy Greco - Pawling, NY

“Ray- Thank you for being the best example of what a great musician, trumpet player, teacher and human being can be. We should all strive to be like...Read More »
28 of 34 | Posted by: Terry Sawchuk - Denver, CO

“A remarkable teacher, musician, human being. I admired him greatly. - Bryce Jordan ”
29 of 34 | Posted by: A friend

“Our times with Ray the past 25 years will leave us with the fondest of memories anyone could ever ask for. He was the kindest, most thoughtful, and...Read More »
30 of 34 | Posted by: Larry and Dottie Shima - Mesa, AZ

“Ray and his family were long time friends of New England Music Camp, as well as personal friends to my family. Ray was the most wonderful person I...Read More »
31 of 34 | Posted by: Kim Wiggin - Suffield, CT, ME

“My deepest condolences to Mr. Crisara's family and friends. He was a great man who, during the four years I studied with him at U.T., taught me the...Read More »
32 of 34 | Posted by: Brandon Ginsburg - Oakton, VA

“As a Horn player I learned more from Ray than any other teacher I had. I was a young player coming up in New York and these giants like Ray, Charlie...Read More »
33 of 34 | Posted by: A friend

“I don't think I can even begin to list all the ways that my family loved Ray. My father always described him as his best friend, and he continued to...Read More »
34 of 34 | Posted by: Annie Maxwell Megibow - VA


A shining example of love, integrity and virtue was called to Heaven on May 25, 2014. Raymond D. Crisara, of Austin, Texas, was a world-renowned trumpet player and beloved University of Texas professor who will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend. Trumpet professor Charles Decker from Tennessee Tech University wrote, "he was not only a musically sensitive and incredibly consistent performer, he also provided a great example in the way he interacted with his family, friends, and colleagues. I feel that there are a handful of individuals who can ultimately shape our destiny. Ray Crisara is one of these special few."

Mr. Crisara's illustrious career began with his education at the Ernest Williams School of Music in New York. He then matriculated to the University of Michigan as both a student and a teaching assistant under Dr. William Revelli. At 19, he was appointed principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He held that post until he was drafted into the United States Army Special Services Orchestra in New York that performed in films, records, VDiscs, symphony concerts and radio broadcasts. Upon returning to civilian life, Mr. Crisara played and toured with the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini, was solo cornetist with the Goldman Band and Paul LaValle's Band of America. He also played with the ABC Brass Quintet, and was on the music staff at both ABC and NBC for many years. Mr. Crisara was sought after for commercial work, jingles, concert work and solo performances, numerous recordings for television and radio, and played under virtually all of the notable conductors of that period. Mr. Crisara played for the Jack Parr Show, the Dick Cavett Show, the Perry Como Show and Sid Caesar programs, and for artists including Frank Sinatra and Liza Minelli. Popular commercial recordings include his work with Paul McCartney of the Beatles, and KISS, while he was particularly proud of his work with Robert Russell Bennett on "Victory at Sea" and "Wide, Wide World." Mr. Crisara was also a national clinician for the Selmer Corporation and worked closely with Mr. Vincent Bach to help develop the internationally acclaimed Bach Stradivarius trumpet.

In 1978, Professor Crisara was thrilled to come to the University of Texas to teach. He enjoyed 23 years of building an outstanding trumpet studio, mixing his love of the trumpet and his life lessons in his own, unique way. He touched and inspired the lives of many at UT and he was proud to be a Longhorn!

Throughout his life, Mr. Crisara was honored to receive many accolades including the Edwin Franko Goldman Memorial Citation from the American Bandmaster's Association, being inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Texas, being named a Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, receiving the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professorship, and receiving an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York-Cortland. He also received the Herbert L. and Jean Schultz Mentor Ideal Award for Outstanding Teaching from the Association of Concert Bands, and an International Trumpet Guild Award of Merit for "lifetime achievement in teaching and performance throughout the world." Born in Cortland, New York on October 19, 1920, Mr. Crisara was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Margaret Crisara, as well as his sister, Katherine Douglas.

Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 65 years, Angela, his brother and sister in law, Robert and Stella Crisara of Woodbury, CT, his 4 adoring children, Meg Houghton and her husband Dana, Cina Crisara, Andrea Snouffer and her husband Edward, and Philip Crisara and his wife Tina. Six beautiful grandchildren were the great joy of his life: Jenny Houghton, Lauren Snouffer, Amilyn Houghton, Emily Snouffer, Alex Crisara, and Matthew Crisara. Mr. Crisara also leaves behind several dear cousins, nieces and nephews as well as countless students, colleagues and friends whose lives he touched and for whom he cared deeply.

Ray loved his wife and his family. He felt that the trumpet was unquestionably the most important musical voice, and enjoyed a well-manicured front yard, great Italian food, and jelly beans. He was a superb gentleman, full of compassion, and a true inspiration. When asked about Mr. Crisara, John Ware, former member of the New York Philharmonic said, "There are no adjectives in my vocabulary -or anyone else's- to accurately describe Ray Crisara. He's one in a million." Mr. Crisara often said that he "would like people to say that this might be a better place for my having been here." Anyone who was lucky enough to know Mr. Crisara is certain that the world is better because of him.

Visitation: Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78705, Thursday, May 29, 5-7 pm and Friday, May 30, 5-7:30 pm, Rosary at 7:30

Celebration of Life Service: St. John's United Methodist Church, 2140 Allandale Rd., Austin, TX 78756, Saturday, May 31 at 11:00 am

Interment: Capital Parks Cemetery, immediately following the service, 14501 IH 35 North, Pflugerville, TX 78660

In honor of Mr. Crisara, contributions may be made to the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) Legacy Fund in Memory of Raymond Crisara. Please address to: D. Kim Dunnick, Legacy Fund Director, 10 Lagrande Ct., Ithaca, NY 14850