Crane School of Music Mourns Passing of Professor Emeritus Elliot Del Borgo


Crane School of Music Professor Emeritus Dr. Elliot Del Borgo will be remembered by the SUNY Potsdam community.

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music is mourning the passing of Professor Emeritus Dr. Elliot A. Del Borgo ’60, whose compositions and dedication to music education leave a long legacy.

Dr. Del Borgo passed away suddenly last week, at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife, fellow Crane graduate Nancy W. Del Borgo ’68, and their two daughters, Anne and Laura.

“Elliot Del Borgo is remembered on this sad occasion with deep admiration by many at Crane—those who knew him as a student, as a teacher, and as a colleague,” Crane School of Music Dean Dr. Michael Sitton said. “His contributions to the School were very significant, and his influence as a brilliant composer and dedicated music educator have extended throughout the profession. He will be long celebrated as a very special member of the Crane family.”

Born in Port Chester, N.Y., Del Borgo earned his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam in 1960, before going on to receive a Master of Education degree from Temple University, and a Master of Music degree from the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, where he studied theory and composition with Vincent Persichetti and trumpet with Gilbert Johnson. In 1973, he was granted the doctoral equivalency by SUNY, and was elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association in 1993.

Del Borgo taught instrumental music in the Philadelphia public schools and was professor of music at The Crane School of Music, where he held teaching and administrative positions from 1966 to 1995. He was the first chair of the Department of Music Theory, History and Composition. While at Crane, he directed the Crane Wind Ensemble.

An award-winning member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, he was a frequent consultant, clinician, lecturer and adjudicator in the United States and abroad. Del Borgo was an internationally known conductor of bands and orchestras.

In addition to his music for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, he published more than 600 compositions for a variety of media, including two volumes entitled “Foundations for Strings.” His music reflects the aesthetics of 20th-century musical ideals through its eclectic nature and vigorous harmonic and rhythmic style.

Calling hours will be at Cummings Funeral Service, in Watertown, N.Y., on Thursday, June 6, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

For more information about the tightknit community at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, visit

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.