Inducted Saturday, September 24, 2011
Vincent Pulicicchio attended International Falls (Minn.) High School. In 1940, he played in the all-state orchestra with Dimitri Mitropoulos of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra as guest conductor. After graduating in 1945, Pulicicchio spent two years serving in the United States Navy, much of it playing sousaphone with a Navy band based in Washington, D.C.
After his discharge in 1947, Pulicicchio attended the Vermilyea Academy of Music in Los Angeles, studying under his mentor Nahan Wolfe Fitterman. There he performed with the Glendale Symphony Orchestra, and he worked part-time at Lucca’s Restaurant as a strolling violinist. When Fitterman came to Moorhead in 1948, Pulicicchio followed. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1950. Pulicicchio earned his master’s degree in music from Colorado State College, Greeley, in 1958.
In 1951, Pulicicchio, known as “Mr. P” to his students, began a 34-year career teaching orchestra for the Moorhead Area Public Schools. In 1965, he developed Apollo Strings, a string ensemble that traveled across the United States, Canada and Europe and behind the Iron Curtain. With an average of 100 performances a year, Apollo Strings performed at Kiwanis International Conventions, Disney World in Florida, the South Dakota Music Educators state convention, and numerous community performances. Pulicicchio also did the majority of the instrument repair work for the string program.
During his years in Moorhead, Pulicicchio belonged to the Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Minnesota Music Education Association, American String Teachers Association, Minnesota Education Association and National Education Association. After retiring in 1985, Pulicicchio moved to a lake home on Minnesota’s Middle Cormorant Lake. He moved to Shakopee, Minn., in 2004.
In 1949, Vincent married classmate June Taxearhis. The Pulicicchios have two children, Kurt and Deirdre (“DD”), four grandchildren, Logan, Austen, Nick and Neil, and one great-granddaughter, Andrea. Vincent Pulicicchio died on Jan. 18, 2010, at age 82.