Although I never formally studied with Ghitalla when I was a boy in the 1950s, I used to visit him at his teaching studio at Rayburn Music when I had finished my lessons with Marcel Lafosse and Andre Come at the New England Conservatory. I was in awe of the man. Arthur Fiedler loved Ghitalla and had him solo with the Boston Pops on many occasions. In Symphony Hall, Boston, I heard Ghitalla play many times, including Del Staigers Carnival of Venice, The Lost Chord, Largo al Factotum, Trumpeter's Lullaby, and Bugler's Holiday, just to mention some. His sound was so exquisitely beautiful, his flexibility so supple, his range so effortless sounding, his musicality so artistic that I would sit there transfixed, my mouth fallen wide open.
But, what was equally special about "Mundy" was his warmth and friendliness toward others. Here I was, not even his student, and he always came out into the lobby during intermission to visit with his young admirers. He was always interested in what I had to say, and despite my youth and inexperience, he always treated me with a warm respect for which I was both very thankful and very appreciative.
The world has lost a truly great man and a truly great musician. But, Armando Ghitalla will always be remembered. I can still hear him playing his gorgeous, beautiful music.