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John Grimes

We are deeply saddened to share the news that our percussion faculty member, friend and colleague John Grimes passed away Thursday, August 8, surrounded by friends and family. He fought a valiant and courageous battle with cancer for the past few years.

A favorite faculty member here at the Conservatory, John also worked as a solo timpanist with the Boston Baroque and Handel & Haydn Society orchestras, Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, Cantata Singers and other Boston-based organizations.

He earned his Bachelor of Music from the University of Miami, his Master of Music from the New England Conservatory and pursued doctoral studies at the University of California, San Diego. He studied percussion with Fred Wickstrom and timpani with Vic Firth and Cloyd Duff.

During the summers of 2006, 2008 and 2011, John traveled to Vienna, Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin to pursue his lifelong interest in German and Viennese timpani performance practices. He also served as the vice president of the Boston Musicians Association, where for more than a decade John tirelessly advocated for musicians' intellectual property, economic rights and social justice.

A memorial service for him is being planned in the fall at Old South Church. We will forward all details as they become available.

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