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John Martin "Marty" Baum

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BAUM, John Martin 'Marty' -- passed away on April 9 after a long illness. Born 1925 in Normal, Illinois, he resided in Highland Park and then moved to New Mexico, where he met and married Erma Melendez. After many years in Atascadero, California, Marty and his family moved to San Jose and in 1969 Marty Baum and his wife moved to Morgan Hill. Marty Baum was a musician and music educator for over 60 years. He began his career as a trombone, trumpet, and baritone player in the Midwest, winning music contests and performing with June Christy and the Dick Cisney Society Band. He joined the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor. New Mexico became his next home where he taught music to high school students in Las Cruces and later attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a BA in Music Education. While attending UNM, Marty was a student conductor of the UNM Band, member of the Albuquerque Civic Symphony, and had his own dance band, Baum's Big Band. Following his graduation from UNM, Marty was Music Director for the Grants, NM Municipal Schools and them came to California to further pursue his teaching and music career. As Music Director at Cal Poly and at Atascadero High School, Marty and his music students gained wide recognition. During his tenure at Atascadero, Marty was asked to present the half-time show for the Los Angeles Rams during a nationally televised game. The response was so positive and overwhelming, he and his high school band were invited to perform at the 1967 Superbowl. Marty was active in the California Band Directors Association for many years and served as one of its first Presidents. He organized many music clinics and participated in the California Music Educators Conference and California School Administrators Conference...After retiring from music teaching in 1985, Marty continued to perform on the trombone and piano. He played events throughout the Western states, often with his brother, Dick Baum, and his own sons who joined him on drums, bass, and guitar. Many of Marty's former students were so inspired by his musicianship, direction, and support, that they continued on to careers as band directors and musicians and updated Marty frequently on their achievements. Marty was honored by his students and his peers on a number of occasions receiving the Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1974 from the Morgan Hill Unified School District, presiding as Grand Marshal of the Morgan Hill Fourth of July Parade in 1985, and was awarded the California Band Directors Association's 1999 Distinguished Service Award. Marty Baum is survived by his wife of 55 years, Erma Baum, three sons, James Baum of Santa Cruz, CA, John (Jack) Baum of Riverside, CA, and Stephen Baum of Goleta, CA, his brother C.R. 'Dick' Baum, and seven grandchildren.
Published in San Jose Mercury News on Apr. 25, 2003
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