Kauko Emil Kahila, “ KoKo”, age 93 a first generation American of Finnish Heritage, died Monday Nov 18, 2013 at his home. He is the beloved husband of Mary A. (Healy) Kahila and the late Frances A. (Albertin). Kauko was born at home in Norwood, Massachusetts on April 28, 1920 he was the son of the late Kaarle and Elsa Kahila. He was introduced to music, at the age of sixteen and played with the local Finnish band in Norwood, MA, first with Piano then Alto Horn, then Tenor Trombone.
During his senior year at Norwood High School, Kauko also attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He played the Tenor Trombone for both School Orchestras. While at the New England Conservatory, he studied under Hans Durek Waldemar Lillebach of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he also played under Arthur Fielder in the Boston Youth Orchestra and was in the first summer youth music class at Tanglewood. While still studying at the New England Conservatory, he wrote a book for Tenor Trombone, entitled, "Advanced studies". After graduation from the New England Conservatory, he played Trombone in the Houston Texas Symphony Orchestra from 1941-1944 Kauko spent time in the 319th Air Force Band where he played Trombone. He was in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for eight years. While in St. Louis, He began correspondence with the Reynolds Instrument Co. He was interested in a more effective method of extending the chromatic reach of the Bass Trombone to low B. The Bartok Concerto for Orchestra and commissioned by George Kaussevistoky was written with the low B. He thought that if he added another length of tubing he could obtain the low B. He drew the plans and submitted it to the Reynolds Company. They made the horn and it worked. The Reynolds Instrument Co. gave him the horn. In 2006, he donated the horn to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Kauko played Bass Trombone in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops and Tanglewood from 1952-1972. During this time, he wrote, "The Brass Ride" for the brass section of an Orchestra. He also wrote a book, "Semester of Studies" which encompasses the entire range of the horn. He wrote other studies, which were never published. Kauko taught trombone at Boston University and privately while in the BSO. Kauko retired to Cape Cod. During his musical career, as a hobby, he was interested and studied early American glass and paperweights. Upon retiring from the BSO, He became Director of the New Bedford Glass Museum. From there he became the Curator of Glass at the Sandwich Glass Museum. Kauko was also involved in learning to blow glass at the Pairpoint Glass in Sagamore. His hobbies included gardening, collecting glass, spending time with his family.
Besides his wife he leaves two sons Kauko "Kris " E. Kahila, Jr. of NC and
Kim E. Kahila E. Falmouth, His Step-Children Frances A. Bassett of Nantucket,
Jean E. (Bassett) Duff-Still of E. Falmouth and Amy L. Bassett Way of Pocasset,
Grandchildren Molly Duff-Still E. Falmouth, Tobias Way , Carina Way , Elias Way, Makenna Way all of Pocasset, Jeffrey Moran, Walpole, MA Shana Kahila of OH, Clifton Kahila and Joseph Kahila both of VA. He also leaves two great grandsons. He was father of the late Nancy(Kahila) Moran.
Visiting hours will be Thursday Nov. 21, from 4-7 PM at Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home 584 West Falmouth hwy. ( Rt. 28A) WEST Falmouth. A Funeral Home Service will be held on Friday Nov 22, at 11:00 AM. Burial will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery Gifford St. Falmouth. Memorial donations may be made to CapeAbilities, 895 Mary Dunn Rd. Hyannis, MA 02601.