Naples Concert Band conductor emeritus Eriksen dies

Conductor and Musical Director William Eriksen during the Naples Concert Band performance in Cambier Park.

Conductor and Musical Director William Eriksen during the Naples Concert Band performance in Cambier Park.

William Christian Eriksen, of Marco Island, a passionate musician who at one time was conductor of two concert bands eight states apart and played in five orchestras here, has died.

He passed away on Wednesday, June 5, and burial was set for Greensprings Nature Preserve, Newfield, N.Y.

Mr. Eriksen was born in 1936 and grew up in Winchester, Mass., graduating from Boston University and the University of Connecticut after serving in the Army Band. He taught music in Glastonbury, Conn., schools for 35 years, during which time he served as president of the New England Music Festival Association and as a judge for music competitions throughout New England.

After he moved to Collier County in 1995, he became conductor of the Naples Concert Band, as well as continuing his directorship of the Vineyard Haven, Mass., Concert Band. He served as conductor emeritus to the Naples band until his death.

During his time here he also founded and played trombone in the Paradise Brass Quintet, Doc Peter’s Jazz Orchestra, the Music Makers Show Band and Naples Orchestra and Chorus.

He was known as a charismatic teacher who won excellence from both his students, who consistently took superior ratings at Northeast music festivals, and the adults who worked with him.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce; two sons, Bruce and Daniel, of Colorado; three daughters, Sue of Idaho, Karen Anderson of Westbury, N.Y., and Virginia Walker Hansen of Qatar.

Arrangements were handled by Hodges-Josberger Funeral Home, Marco Island. A memorial service is to be announced later.

Contributions may be made to the Naples Concert Band, P.O. Box 31, Naples, FL 34106.

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