Coming Together to Honor a Colleague

By Leah Aulisio-Sharpe ’22, December 1, 2021
Campus community celebrates life and legacy of professor Harold Reynolds.

For 33 years prior to his retirement in the spring of 2021, Harold Reynolds was a driving force in Ithaca College’s School of Music, where he served as professor of trombone, director of the college’s trombone troupe and performed in the Ithaca Brass, the School of Music’s faculty brass quartet.

Given this legacy, it’s no surprise that Reynolds’s passing this past August was felt throughout the school. On November 12, the IC community gathered in the Hockett Family Recital Hall to honor and celebrate Reynolds with tears, laughter and most importantly, music. The service was also live streamed for members of the Reynolds family that were unable to travel to the event.

“We were devastated when he passed earlier this semester, because he was a special individual to all of us, we wanted to be able to celebrate him,” said Jeffrey Dunn ’12, lecturer of trombone at IC and one of Reynolds’s former students. “We wanted to honor him and take time as a community to share stories and memories.”

“To me, [Professor Reynolds] was a model for collegiate faculty: an experienced and expert musician, a caring and devoted teacher and an outgoing and supportive colleague. He is dearly missed, but his impact on the Ithaca College trombone community is profound and long lasting.”

Jeffrey Dunn ’12, lecturer of trombone

The evening featured a concert by the Trombone Troupe, and several other performances by former students and faculty. Reynolds was a staunch supporter of his students, who wanted not only to guide them on their musical journeys, but their development as individuals. He encouraged their aspirations, music oriented or not, and encouraged them to grow and change.

Dunn studied under Reynolds as an undergraduate and was then lucky enough to experience him as a mentor and a colleague at Ithaca. It was Reynolds’ love for the students that stuck with him through all those years.

“He truly believed in all of us and wanted his students to be successful, '' said Dunn. “He remained in contact with alumni from IC long past graduation and provided opportunities to many of us to help us develop our careers. He was there to serve and support the students.

“As we gathered, we experienced the intricate connectedness and the ways Hal helped to build that for us. Many traveled to be here, and it was incredible to hear their meaningful stories from multiple generations and perspectives. For me, the theme that emerged is how our connectedness emanates beyond these walls, to the corners of our hearts, no matter where we are. Hal touched each of us, and for that we are deeply grateful.”

Ivy Walz, interim dean, School of Music

“To me, he was a model for collegiate faculty: an experienced and expert musician, a caring and devoted teacher and an outgoing and supportive colleague,” Dunn continued. “He is dearly missed, but his impact on the Ithaca College trombone community is profound and long lasting.”

The service, filled with happy memories and condolences, served as a fitting reminder of everything Reynolds meant to the college, and to the students, faculty and staff he interacted with for more than three decades.

“It was truly a gift to see such love emanating throughout the service and concert,” said Ivy Walz, interim dean of the School of Music. “As we gathered, we experienced the intricate connectedness and the ways Hal helped to build that for us. Many traveled to be here, and it was incredible to hear their meaningful stories from multiple generations and perspectives. For me, the theme that emerged is how our connectedness emanates beyond these walls, to the corners of our hearts, no matter where we are. Hal touched each of us, and for that we are deeply grateful.”