William Vacchiano, 93, a trumpeter who never missed a performance during his 38 years with the New York Philharmonic, died Sept. 19 at a hospital in New York. He had respiratory failure.
Mr. Vacchiano was principal trumpet for 31 years at the New York Philharmonic before leaving in 1973. He continued to teach until 2002 at the Juilliard School, where his students included Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis.
Mr. Vacchiano grew up in Portland, Maine, and his path to music started on a sour note when he crashed his bicycle into a neighborhood boy and dented the boy's baritone. Mr. Vacchiano agreed to accompany the boy to his music lesson to explain what had happened.
"The teacher saw a potential student in me and asked me if I'd like to study an instrument," he recalled in a 1977 interview. "I said, 'Yes, I'd love to' -- anything to get out of there."
Mr. Vacchiano started taking lessons about age 8, and he began playing in the Portland Symphony Orchestra when he was 14. His talent drew notice quickly. After attending Juilliard, he joined the Philharmonic's trumpet section in 1935.
That same year, Mr. Vacchiano joined the Juilliard staff. He estimated that he taught 2,000 students over 67 years. There are probably "only a handful of trumpet players in any major orchestra who haven't taken a lesson from him," said a friend and former student, Lee Soper of Greenwich, Conn.
He also taught at four other schools besides Juilliard, published numerous trumpet method books and designed a line of trumpet mouthpieces.