As published in the Campus Times
Eastman School of Music alumnus and accomplished jazz saxophonist Gerry Niewood ’70, age 65, died in an airplane crash on Thursday, Feb. 12. Niewood was one of 49 passenger deaths aboard Continental Connection Flight 3407 to Buffalo, N.Y. He and a close friend, guitarist Coleman Mellett, were on their way to perform with close friend Chuck Mangione’s band in Buffalo. There were no survivors in the crash.
Niewood was an instrumentalist who performed the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones as well as the flute, alto flute, bass flute, piccolo and clarinet. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 1970 with a bachelors in music education with a concentration in saxophone.
During his time at Eastman, Niewood began to grow closer to his childhood friend and trumpeter, Mangione. Niewood and Mangione performed together at the beginning of their careers, but they eventually ventured into different career paths.