CEN042629-1_20130423Richard Allen Topper passed away on April 21, 2013 at the age of 88.  Richard was a member of the bass section of the CSO from 1947-1993.  He started his music career while a student at Altoona High School in Pennsylvania.  At age 14 he traveled each weekend to study with Harold Smith, bass teacher at Julliard School of Music in NYC aND member of the NBC Symphony.  After graduation he received a full scholarship to study at Julliard.  In February of 1943 he left his studies to serve in the Army Air Force and was discharged in October of 1945 as Staff Sergeant 127th Army Air Force Base Unit.  Richard then returned to Julliard but was soon after recruited by Thor Johnson to start his career with him at the CSO.  Richard married Mary Marusak on the same day he played his first CSO concert.  They were married 65 years.