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Choral leader, community builder: A sonic memorial for Larry Gordon

A photo of a person wearing a floppy hat and round glasses.
Tess Barber, Courtesy
/
Larry Gordon in Seahouses, England in 2018.

Larry Gordon touched hundreds of lives.

The Marshfield resident played a key role in the revival of shape note choral singing, and brought it around the world. He ran the organization Village Harmony, was instrumental in the beginning of the Onion River Arts Council, and had an unparalleled skill for bringing people together in community.

He died on Tuesday, following a bicycle accident on Nov. 1. He was 76.

In honor of Larry, VPR’s Anna Van Dine assembled a chorus of voices:

Note: we recommend listening to this story.

"He's got fabulous eyebrows and sparkly eyes and a booming bass voice and a sly smile." — Suzannah Park, Village Harmony music teacher

"He was an amazing presence ... just standing next to him was like electricity." — Justine Cavacas, Stockbridge

"If it weren't for Larry, I might have lived the rest of my life believing that I wasn't musical, and I'm so grateful to him." — Sam Zegas, San Francisco

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Anna Van Dine @annasvandine.

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