Professional Musician, devoted husband and loving father, caring friend, experienced and passionate educator. These are just a few ways to describe Anthony J. Marro who passed away peacefully on December 15th, 2021 at Gosnell Memorial in Scarborough, Maine.
Continuing the legacy of his grandfather, legendary musician Mal Lary, Anthony dedicated his life to mastering the clarinet and saxophone. He began his studies in the 5th grade with John Furman at Dyer Elementary and continued on to Memorial Middle School under the watchful eye of Jean Quinn and later with Norm Richardson at South Portland High School. In middle school, Anthony performed in the Jazz Band and Concert Band. Later, Anthony attended South Portland High School and became an essential member of the highly successful 1995 South Portland Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Craig Skeffington, who took top honors at both the Maine Music Educators Association Jazz Festival and the Berklee College of Music Jazz Festival that year. Additionally, Anthony was selected as an All-State level musician on both the clarinet and saxophone throughout high school and earned many outstanding soloist awards at the Berklee College of Music Jazz Festival.
Anthony was a lifelong scholar of improvised music and specifically Jazz. He regularly attended the Bridgeway Jam Sessions in South Portland to sit in and learn from Maine music luminaries including Don Doane and Joe Laflamme (who Anthony credited as being a vital influence and teacher whom he respected greatly). Anthony loved to just sit and listen to jazz, especially Zoot Sims, Stan Getz and Phil Woods.
After high school, Anthony attended the University of Southern Maine where he majored in Music Education and continued to study the clarinet and saxophone. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 2000. While attending USM he served as the principal clarinetist for both the University of Southern Maine Concert Band and Wind Ensemble.
While a versatile and gifted performer, Anthony was also a brilliant writer and arranger. In 1999, while still in college, he wrote the front ensemble arrangements for the Southern Maine Youth Percussion Ensemble. This group was a consistent finalist in Winter Guard International and in 1999 won the World Championship in Dayton, Ohio.
In September of 2001 Anthony began teaching at Morse High School in Bath, Maine where he served as the Director of Instrumental Music until his death. While at Morse High, Anthony worked tirelessly to develop a new music curriculum, start a music booster program, build a keyboard lab, start various new initiatives including Jazz Band, Rock Band, Film Scoring and AP Music Theory. Even as his health declined, he remained immensely dedicated to his program.
Anthony was also a highly skilled instrument repairman and could fix just about any problem that came his way. He was always willing to fix a student's instrument and get them back to playing as soon as possible. Just another way that he showed his dedication to his students.
Throughout his many years as a professional gigging musician Anthony was fortunate to share the stage with many world class musicians (both local and national acts) including the Chris Humphrey Big Band, Restrospecticus, Port City Jazz, Wavelength, Tony Boffa, Don Doane, the Terry White Big Band, the Al Corey Big Band, The Temptations, Barry Manilow, Otis Redding III, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Artie Shaw Orchestra, Jerry Bergonzi and Harry Alen.
On June 7th, 2020 Anthony married his true love Jennifer Precopio in a small ceremony at Fisherman’s Point on Willard Beach. Together they co-parented Dominic in a loving home in Westbrook surrounded by a menagerie of rescue animals that they adopted.
Anthony loved golf, the Golden Girls and Walter Matthau, but more than anything he loved his family. He was always the first person to help but never asked for help himself.
On October 30th, 2021 Anthony played his last wedding gig with the Chris Humphrey Big Band at Grace in Portland. His music and influence will long be heard however through the lives and performances of all that he helped. Anthony is survived by his wife Jennifer Precopio-Marro; his son Dominic Marro; his parents, Carlo and Cynthia Marro; his brother Chris Marro and his wife Janice; his uncle Rob Lary and his wife Stacy; and his uncle Joe Marro.
Visitation will be held from 2:00PM to 6:00PM on Sunday, December 19, 2021 at A. T. Hutchins Funeral Home, 660 Brighton Ave Portland. Masks will be required inside the funeral home. A Celebration of Life will be held at 3:00PM on Sunday, January 9, 2021, time to be determined, at Eastpoint Christian Church, 345 Clarks Pond Pkwy, South Portland. In lieu of flowers, the family will be accepting donations towards a college fund for Dominic.
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