Michael Bookspan, percussion

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1929, Michael Bookspan received his first toy drum at age three. While in high school, Bookspan performed with a USO troop in the New York-New Jersey area, and performed on the Amateur Hour several times, ultimately winning the Arthur Godfrey Talent Show in 1948. After a year-and-a-half enlistment in the 657th AAF Band at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas, where he was often featured as a xylophone soloist, Bookspan spent five years at Juilliard as a student of Morris Goldenberg and Saul Goodman. While in school, he performed not only with the Little Orchestra Society of New York, the New York City Ballet, and the Xavier Cugat band, but also as a member of the famed Goldman Band for two years before graduating in 1953.

When Bookspan joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as Percussionist and Assistant Timpanist in 1953, the section consisted of Fred D. Hinger, James Valerio, and Benjamin Podemski. His tenure overlapped the careers of Charlie Owen, Alan Abel, Gerald Carlyss, Anthony Orlando, Don Liuzzi, and Angie Zator-Nelson, and he served as Principal of the section from 1972 until his death in 2002.