David Highland Cassirer

Profile Updated: August 11, 2014
Residing In: Telluride, CO USA
Occupation: Pianist/Conductor/Arranger
Yes! Attending Reunion

I still have many fond memories of my friends at CHHS -- those were amazing times for us, looking back.

Some of you may recall that I played the piano for MC-GGC, and wrote vocal arrangements for both MC-GGC and Heights Choir at the request of their directors, who were both very talented guys, and very good to me.

After graduating in 1972, I joined the faculty of the Berklee College of Music (the great jazz school in Boston), and appeared nightly at the Ritz Carlton at Copley Square with my trio. I later joined CBS Records as a pianist/arranger/conductor, and often toured with headliners -- based first in New York, then L.A., then Nashville. I met a lot of wonderful people, and had some very good times. I never married or had children -- but as you know, life's a tradeoff. As they say -- you don't always get what you like, so you better learn to like what you get.

I'm a skier, and when the opportunity arose, I moved to Aspen, and did club and concert work from there. Years later, I 'set the clock back' by moving to Telluride, Colorado, another top ranked U.S. ski resort. I've opened the Telluride Jazz Festival here, served as Music Director for the Telluride Repertory Theater, and recently opened for Stevie Wonder.

My father, Claude Cassirer, now nearly 90 years old, is still convinced I haven't really done anything much. And he may well be right.

Certainly, I was lucky enough, for the most part, to do as I pleased. Something to be said for that, right?

School Story:

All the guys lived in fear, of course, of having their number called to serve in Vietnam. I was very fortunate that I didn't have to go, and still grieve for those who did.

With all the travails of growing up and getting through high school, I guess we didn't know Heights High would look so good, looking back. But it's part of us -- all of us -- and I know we wouldn't trade it for anything.

I'm grateful to the teachers and friends who put up with me -- and particularly, to the girls who were nice to me.

And a special thought about my uncle, Heights High guidance counsellor Allan Bellin, now in his 80's and still going strong, who was beloved by so many, and helped so many get through.

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Aug 11, 2014 at 11:14 AM