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Music Therapy Community Mourns the Passing of Remo Belli

April 27, 2016 10:35 AM

Remo Belli - 1927-2016: Music Therapy Friend & Advocate

The music therapy community lost a champion and devoted friend on April 25, 2016 -- Remo Belli. Best known for founding Remo Inc., the largest drum manufacturer in the world, and inventing the Mylar drum head, Remo truly was a Renaissance man. Having traveled the world since his days in the Navy during World War II, Remo spoke at least half a dozen languages.  Drums and family were not his only passions; he also took pride in his vineyard, and olive and almond groves in Paso Robles.

Remo and his wife Ami, an accomplished physician, attended their first of many music therapy annual conferences in San Diego in 1991 following the AMTA-sponsored U.S. Senate Hearing, “Forever Young:  Music and Aging.” AMTA officials were introduced to Remo by another music industry friend and icon, and AMTA Presidential Advisor, Karl Bruhn, whom we lost in 2010.

Over the past 25 years, Remo has collaborated with numerous music therapists to develop products and programs to meet the varied needs of people with disabilities. He has also been a mentor to many AMTA members. Remo and Ami’s focus on wellness and health influenced ideas about music therapy’s contributions in those areas.

Remo and Ami continued to attend music therapy conferences, and visit and support music therapy programs in the U.S. and around the world.  Remo’s curiosity and interest in music therapy never waned. He requested frequent updates on the progress of the profession and voraciously read music therapy books and research reports. Remo and Ami were generous philanthropists to AMTA, to music therapy, and in many other areas dear to their hearts. Remo and Ami’s son, Dr. Angelo Belli, has also become a music therapy advocate.

Remo often said that his goal was “to do well by doing good” and he not only met that goal, but far exceeded it. Remo will be missed for the ways he touched so many lives and made the world a better place. Thanks to Remo for being a tireless friend to AMTA and to music therapy and our deepest sympathies go out to Remo's friends and family.

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