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Graduate, Music


Grade: Classical Guitar Method under Master Richard Pick

Private Studies with Master Richard Pick

Activities and Societies: Classical Guitar, Composition, Harmony and Theory. 


Rick's famous father Rick Verde of "The Three Sons" taught young Rick at the age of 5, the basics on guitar, piano, dums and tenor saxophone.  He also taught him how to work the home studio recording equipment.  He noticed Rick was fluent in music and enjoying guitar.  Rick asked his father if he could learn to play guitar like him.  Thus begain his muscial journey and his formal musical education.

In January of 1964, Rick was the youngest student ever to audition in front of  the school jury.  He was excepted by Master Richard Pick himself to attend the Chicago School of Music to study under the professor, at the young age of 8.  Rick quickly became Master Pick's prize student.  By the age of 11 years old, Rick was taking the train from Elmhurst to Downtown Chicago and then took the El Train to the Chicago Loop by himself, to attend school.  He was determined and dedicated.  He always wore a suit and tie with guitar in hand ready for school.  After 8 years of studies,  Rick surpassed Master Pick's expectations and sent young Rick on his way with an arsenal of musical information in all it's forms and a strong grasp of the classical guitar.




Chicago School of Music


Master Richard Pick-Chicago School of Music

Chicago School of Music was a private music educational institution owned and located inside the Forster Music Publishing Inc. Building at 310 S. Wabash Ave. Downtown Chicago.


The Loop underneth the El Train in front of the school S. Wabash Ave.

A young Rick Vittallo at the age of 11 playing his first concert at the Chicago Guitar Society.

Dick Grove School of Music

Trade, Arranging, Harmony and Theory, Composition, Guitar


Activities and Societies:  Jazz Band, Master Guitar

  • Composition

  • Theory

  • Master Guitar

  • Arranging Orchestration

  • Guitar

  • Classical Guitar

  • Composition Lyrics


Master Guitar Class Private instruction

  Jack Smalley

Film, Composition, Lyrics and Song Writing

 Jimmy Stewart


 Mundell Lowe


Laurindo Almeda


Howard Roberts


 Joe Pass


 Gabor Szabo


 Ladd McIntosh

Arranging, Orchestration, Composition, Harmony and Theory

Independent Coursework with Music Masters

 Joe Parnello

Conductor, Musical Director, Arranger, Composer for Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, Vic Damone, Anthony Newley, Tom Jones, Carol Lawrence, Connie Stevens, Cher, Paul Anka, Nancy Sinatra and many more.

Rick learned from Joe Conductor, Musical Director, Orchestration, Arranging and Composing

  Gene Eposito

A famous Chicago jazz man (pianist and arranger).  He played with Art Pepper, Conte Candoli, Chuck Mangione, Don Bagley and many more. His latin jazz band Poco Loco was one of the best of the genre in the Chicago era.
 Rick learned from Gene, Arranging and Orchestration

Hal Blaine (Rick's Godfather)


Drums, Percussions and Music Supervision

Hal Blaine has played on over 5,000 records, film scores and TV jingles.


“These guys used to show up to work in suits and ties for these record dates. We’d show up in blue jeans and t-shirts, smoking cigarettes… and the older session guys would say “they’re wrecking the business.” So I started calling our group of musicians the Wrecking Crew.”

-Hal Blaine


My Godfather, and educator, Uncle Hal Blaine, has taught me the ins and outs, ups and downs, and a deep respect of all aspects of the music industry in both recording and live performance. He is the most influential presence in my life. My appreciation and love for him is eternal.

-Rick Vittallo


Rick Verde (Rick's Father)

Rick is definitely his fathers son.


"My Dad's talent was only overshadowed by his

sense of humor."

-Rick Vittallo

Jack Cecchini Classic & Modern Guitar Studios

Further studies in Classical Guitar with Jack Cecchini in Chicago.

 Dick Grove

Harmony and Theory, Composition, Arranging and Orchestration.

Dick Grove Music Workshops


Signed endorsement from Hal Blaine for Rick's First Solo CD

"Twilite Moments."


Richard J Vittallo (Rick Verde) 1927-2011 RIP.


From my Godfather, Hal Blaine in the Los Angeles union paper, "The Overture":

In Memoriam: Richard 'Rick' J. Vittallo

(1927 –2011)

Editor's Note: Chicago-born guitarist and entertainer

Rick J. Vittallo's accomplishments include the muti-mil-

lion seller RCA hit song by The Three Suns, "Twilight

Time," as well as several hit albums. Briefly holding mem-

bership at Local 47, he remained a member of Chicago

Local 10-208 from 1948 until resigning in 1994.

A young musician, on the road with funny hat

bands, I used to build and fly model airplanes. I flew

them at airport lounges which were always open.

One night in Great Falls, Montana, when I was toss-

ing my airplane off of the balcony, I almost hit

another model airplane. That was my first meeting

with Rick, as we all knew him. He was pickin' and

grinnin' and playing his guitar with another funny

hat band. That started our friendship of just about

60 years. I went off to school in Chicago where Rick

lived. We've been pals ever since that meeting in the

airport. Rick was a member of Local 10-208 for 10

years then came to L.A. where he did a lot of side-

line work. His son, Ricky Vittallo, Local 47, has

taken over the reins and is playing and conducting

in Las Vegas.

—Hal Blaine, Local 47 Life Member



Rick's Mentors

 Vic Caesar

Entertainer, Singer, Pianist, Drummer, Song Writer, Comedian, Musical Director at the Playboy Club and America's Host of his generation.

The man himself was amazing.  A staunch Democrat came to write a song for Richard Nixon (Nixon's The One), among other primo show-biz anecdotes (Sinatra grabbing his ass, Elvis, Marilyn, Hugh Hefner....) Played all of the Playboy Mansion parties.  And Dick Van Dyke wrote the album's liner notes. Why isn't this guy a legend?!"

Vic knew Rick from the day he was born and was one of his fathers best friends.  He took Rick under his wings and guided and protected him throughout his career.

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