Our jazz community lost one of its icons, Jeff Peronto, earlier this week. Here is the obituary that appears on the Cress Funeral Services website. It includes schedule info for the visitation and burial service as well as a suggestion for direction of gifts in his memory.
Madison – Jeffrey Lee Peronto, age 64, passed into eternal life on February 25th, 2014, after a long and courageous battle with renal cancer. Jeff was born on June 14, 1949 in Milwaukee to Lillian and Leroy Peronto. Educated at Marquette University HS and UW-Madison, he worked as a musician and teacher for 37 years. Jeff was most proud of his career at MATC, where he taught music and directed the Madison Municipal Band, several jazz ensembles and the pit orchestras for the MATC musicals. Also an expert photographer, Jeff loved taking pictures, not only during his travels, but also through the lens of a telescope. He loved to mentor anyone interested in photography.
Some may remember Jeff’s appearance on the Today Show with Jane Pauley, where he offered tips on shooting photos of Haley’s Comet for the amateur photographer. Jeff later appeared on CNN and Fox, as well.
Disney World held a special place in Jeff’s heart with an appointment as Director of the All American College Band in 1979. Jeff returned to the Florida theme park with his family and his college jazz groups in the years to follow. Through Jeff’s efforts, Big Band greats Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton, Count Basie and many others visited MATC to perform and work with jazz ensemble members.
Highlights of his stint as director of the Madison Municipal Band included trips to Paris and Rome, where the band performed for Pope Paul VI. Jeff served as a field assistant for the UW Marching Band and just a few years ago conducted the band during one of the UW football games.
Jeff is survived by his wife, Lisa Lynn; two children, Danielle Peronto of Florida and James Peronto of South Carolina; and his stepchildren, Amanda and Trevor Wysocki. He is also survived by his mother, Lillian, of Milwaukee and sister, Judy (Ted) Buenzli of Madison. He was preceded in death by his father, Leroy. Jeff is further survived by mother and father-in-law, Diane and Leonard Cychosz of Custer; brother-in-law, Mark (Jackie) of Stevens Point, as well as many cousins, nephews, nieces and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. ALBERT THE GREAT CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2420 St. Albert Dr., Sun Prairie on Monday, March 3, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. with Monsignor Terrence Connors officiating. Burial will follow at Sacred Hearts Cemetery in Sun Prairie. A visitation will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 1310 Emerald Terrace, Sun Prairie, on Sunday, March 2, 2014, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and at church on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.
The family would like to thank Dr. Michael Frontiera and Dr. Al Musa for their care; and also Ryan and other Heartland Hospice staff, as well.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UW Madison Summer Music Clinic scholarships. The following link, takes you to the correct UW Foundation site with the Music Clinic scholarship account number (https://secure.supportuw.org/MultiPage/processStep1.do?seq=17710).
There is a place to mark that the donation is an honorary or memorial gift and contributors can put Jeff’s name into the box.