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Alumni Briefs: Q+A with Bill Hyland
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Bill Hyland, W’44, L’49 (right), riffs with Benny Goodman
When Benny Goodman died on June 13, 1986, one of the first people to rush to his Manhattan apartment was Bill Hyland, W’44, L’49. Hyland was there to gather the jazz legend’s clarinets. But he also found a Brahms sonata on the music stand, perhaps the last thing Goodman ever played as he practiced for a concert at Carnegie Hall.

Hyland, the executor and musical consultant to Goodman’s estate, got to know the “King of Swing” through an arranged musical marriage. In the summer of 1976, the proprietor of a music venue in an historic village in northern New Jersey asked Goodman if he would mind playing with Hyland, the state’s attorney general, in his next concert there. The notoriously difficult bandleader reluctantly agreed. When the day came, Hyland, clarinet in hand, walked onto the stage and proceeded to wail with Goodman, who whispered, “Don’t leave, hang around.”
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