PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Many musicians in Westchester County owe their love of music to Hercules Faranda.
Faranda, 90, was killed on Sunday when he was hit by a car outside of his Washington Avenue home. He was taken to Westchester Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Faranda was a longtime musician who worked with many jazz musicians, including Les Paul and Zoot Sims. He gave private lessons to kids throughout Westchester.
Carlo Capano, the band director at Westlake High School, said he knew Faranda for more than 25 years.
"The top students in my band and jazz band were his product," Capano said. "They became the first chair players in the all-county bands and orchestras throughout the years. The majority of my students that went into music as a career were Mr. Faranda's private students."
Capano said Faranda would always attend the concerts of his students.
"He was extremely supportive," Capano said. "I've received so many emails from former students who studied with Herc in the past. They all miss him very much. I feel the same. Musically, I feel like I've lost a dear uncle."
Carol Arrucci, who runs Cortlandt School of Performing Arts, said she had been crying all day over Faranda's death. Arrucci said she often hired Faranda to play in the orchestra of her shows.
"He always had a good joke and a very uplifting positive vibe," Arrucci said. "He was such a good guy. Every person you know, he's played for them. It's really incredible."
Faranda taught the woodwind students at Pleasantville for many years, and Arrucci said he always made time for his students.
"So many kids can say they learned from the best," Arrucci said. "He was able to share his talent with so many kids, it must be in the thousands. There are a lot of little Herc Farandas playing music because of him."
Arrucci said she would always cherish the last conversation she had with Faranda at Dunkin Donuts in Pleasantvile where they chatted for three hours.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.