October 5, 1920 – July 18, 2022 Vincent Ned DeRosa died peacefully on July 18, at 101 years old. Vince was preceded in death by his wife, Sally Ann DeRosa, and his beloved siblings Martha, Jack, Richard, and Mary.
Vince was born on October 5, 1920, in Kansas City, MO. He was the first in his family of him born in America, the oldest child of Italian immigrants. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1932. During his lifetime, Vince came to call three places home, La Canada-Flintridge, CA, Whitefish, MT and Maui, HI.
Vince met his wife, Sally Jordan, a radio actress, on a blind date to the USO in 1944. Their chance meeting only took place due to an ankle injury that sidelined Sally from attending a tour with the Ice Follies. They were married in 1945 and remained so until her death in 2014.
Vince, who was a descendent of career musicians, started studying the French horn at 10 years old. He was forced to start an early career due to the death of his father de el when Vince was 15. During World War II, Vince enlisted and was assigned with the California Army Air Forces radio production unit. After the war, Vince started his career on contract at Fox Studios and as a freelance studio musician.
His unique and distinctive sound was featured by Hollywood’s greatest composers including John Williams, Henry Mancini, Bill Conti, and Alfred Newman. As his career progressed, many pieces were composed for him specifically. His film credits include ET, Rocky, The Sound of Music, and Jaws. He also recorded for television scores including Dallas, Batman, Bonanza, and The Simpsons and played for live telecasts and variety shows including The Academy Awards, Sonny and Cher and The Judy Garland show.
His credits beyond Hollywood include classic recordings across genres of jazz, classical, pop and rock, on albums by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, The Monkees, Frank Zappa and The Beatles. Among his accomplishments, his work with Laurindo Almeida on The Intimate Bach earned a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Performance-Chamber music in 1962.
Inspired by his mentor, Alfred Brain, Vince used his time outside of the studio to teach other aspiring horn players. Vince was a faculty member at USC for over 30 years and continued to offer private lessons well into his retirement from him.
Outside of his career, Vince was the beloved center of his family. He was deeply cherished as a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and his loss of him simply cannot be overstated. He always filled hearts with a lot of laughter and instilled a deep love of music and a great bowl of pasta with “a hunk” of cheese.
Vince is survived by his pet parrot, Cheech, his son John DeRosa and his wife Dee of Corona del Mar, CA, his daughter Betty DeRosa of La Canada-Flintridge, CA, his six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His grandchildren and great grandchildren are; Ian Ullman of New York, NY, JD DeRosa, his wife Perry and their children Sebastian and Madeline of Brentwood, CA, Deanna and Tom Coale and their children Paul and Laura of Mission Viejo, CA, Jacob Ullman, his wife Xandi and their children Sklyar and Nolan of Newport Beach, CA, Dr. Vincent DeRosa, his wife Ann-Marie and their children Dominic, Nico and Joe Hamilton of Santa Barbara, CA, and Ashley MacLaren of Seattle, WA.
A private family celebration of life will be held in August. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to an endowed scholarship honoring his work from him: The USC Vincent DeRosa Endowed Scholarship in French Horn Fund.
Published by Los Angeles Times on Jul. 24, 2022.