Ken Hanlon, age 77, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on November 27, 2018 at St. Rose Siena Hospital due to complications following surgery. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Carrie McCrea Hanlon, children Stephanie Cannito (Vinny), Eric Hanlon (Jolene), Stephen Hanlon (Rebecca), grandchildren Alexandria and Angelina Cannito and Camden and Karina Hanlon, sister, Nancy Shuman (Doug) as well as his first wife and mother of his children, Christine Earl (Woody). A memorial will be held on December 8, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the Stan Fulton Building on the UNLV campus.
Ken, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, received his bachelor, master’s and doctorate degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. He taught instrumental music in the Baltimore County School District and played with the Baltimore Symphony. In 1968, Ken moved his family to Las Vegas in order to play on the strip. He also served as principal trombonist for the Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra. In 1970, while still playing for acts on the strip, Ken approached the then-chair of the Music Department at UNLV and offered to teach trombone as an adjunct faculty member. Ken was hired, but after two weeks was told the chair was resigning and Ken immediately assumed the role of Chair of the Department of Music, a position he held for 16 years before being recruited as an associate provost. After 5 years on “the seventh floor,” Ken returned to the music department, where he taught and ran the Arnold Shaw Popular Music Research Center until his retirement in 2017 after 47 years at UNLV.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Ken Hanlon Memorial Scholarship Fund by sending a check to the UNLV Foundation re: Ken Hanlon memorial gift or online at https://netcommunity.unlv.edu/givetofinearts. Select Music Scholarships and in the tribute section, select “in memory of” and add Ken Hanlon. The money will be used to assist aspiring trombonists to attend the International Trombone Association (ITA’s) annual festival, as Ken was a member of the board and president of the ITA for 10 years.