Ignatius N. Gennusa (1920-2003) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Italian immigrant parents. His father was an amateur musician who took Iggy to his community band rehearsals. At the age of 10, Iggy was mesmerized by the "long black pipes." As a result, his father bought him his first clarinet from the Sears Roebuck catalog for $13.20! In 1942, Iggy entered the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Daniel Bonade. Upon graduation, WWII broke out and Iggy joined the U.S. Navy, serving in the Philadelphia Navy Yard Band, with Anthony Gigliotti. The band was mobilized and went to sea on the USS Randolph, an aircraft carrier that was attacked by the Japanese on at least three occasions. After leaving the service, Iggy played first clarinet in the Radio City Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1951, he reached the pinnacle of his career as principal clarinetist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (for 21 years) and taught at the Peabody Conservatory of Music for 42 years! Iggy was recognized as having one of the best tones on clarinet of any professional clarinetist during his generation. In the late 1980s, Iggy designed his "Excellente" clarinet mouthpiece, a direct copy of his famous Chedeville--a large contributor to his wonderful tone--and began marketing it to the public.