During his lifetime, Larry McDonald brought music to life for countless people.
As a musician. As a music store owner. As a teacher. As a friend.
Now, following his death in February at age 68, Larry will continue to bring music to life forever through a new fund established by his family. The Larry McDonald Band Fund will pay a grant each spring to the Seymour High School band department to help provide musical instruments to band students in need.
“We want to honor Dad, and he really liked helping kids get into music,” his son, Matt McDonald, said of the family’s decision to establish the fund at the Community Foundation of Jackson County.
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Kevin Cottrill, director of bands at Seymour High School, appreciates the thought behind the new fund.
“We are deeply honored, thankful and blessed to have the opportunity to help band students and families in our community with the Larry McDonald Band Fund,” Cottrill said when told of the fund and its purpose. “The generosity of the McDonald family is greatly appreciated because it will help aspiring musicians in need of financial assistance. May Larry’s infectious positive attitude and love for music and people live on for many years to come with this new fund.”
The Larry McDonald Band Fund is much like the Les Gilkey Music Fund, which was established in 2012 to benefit music students at Seymour Middle School. Gilkey was a retired music teacher who volunteered with the middle school band for nearly 30 years. He died in June 2017 at age 102.
Larry owned and operated This Old Guitar Music Store in downtown Seymour, and he managed and performed in The TOG Band and others. Larry was a drummer. He delighted in entertaining people with the talents of his music and of the countless other musicians with whom he performed over the years, including fellow SHS Class of 1970 classmate John Mellencamp.
Larry also created opportunities for his students and young people to test the waters of live performance, Jordan Richart wrote recently in The Tribune. He always invited several students to perform at Scoop the Loop, the annual Fourth of July celebration at Shields Park, his concerts at This Old Guitar during Oktoberfest and recitals at his store.
Music — and sharing music — was his passion, Jordan said.
While Larry’s family, fellow musicians and former students mourn his death, his legacy lives on not only through the beat of the drum or the strumming of a guitar of one of his students, it also continues by helping future SHS band students who will benefit from the fund. Forever.
You, too, can help pay it forward with a gift to the Larry McDonald Band Fund or any other funds at the foundation through our website, cfjacksoncounty.org.
Click on “Donate Now” and let us know to which fund you’re donating. Or you may send a check to the foundation at P.O. Box 1231, Seymour, IN 47274.
Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating opportunities with the foundation, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].