Leonard V. Meretta
July 25, 2007
Leonard V. Meretta, professor emeritus of music and founder of the Western Michigan University bands program, died July 23 in Kalamazoo. He was 91.
Meretta is credited with establishing the bands program at WMU in 1945. After leading the program for 27 years, he stepped down as director of bands in 1972. Meretta continued as a full-time member of the music faculty, teaching trumpet until he retired with emeritus status in 1981. He is also credited with staging the state's first college football high school band day in 1946.
A graduate of Ernest Williams School of Music in New York, Meretta received his bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University of Michigan.
Prior to coming to WMU, he was an instrumental music teacher in Lenoir, N.C., and an instructor and assistant band director at the University of Michigan.
He was active in several professional music organizations during his career including as vice president of the Michigan chapter of the International Trumpet Guild.
A visitation is set for 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 29, at Langland Chapel at 3926 S. 9th St. in Oshtemo. A memorial service will be at noon Monday, July 30, at First United Methodist Church on Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo. A lunch at the church will follow the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Leonard Meretta Band Scholarship Fund at WMU.
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