The Larry D. Gabbard Performing Arts Scholarship is an educational grant that will be awarded annually to a High School Senior residing in Rockland County who intends to pursue a career in the Performing Arts including Performance, Arts Management, Stage Management, and Technical Design.
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Larry D. Gabbard
Born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana on February 8, 1971, Larry D. Gabbard graduated from Indiana University in 1993 with a degree in English and Telecommunications. After a few years in Chicago, he relocated to New York City and worked in the corporate sector before returning to school seeking a new path. Accepted into the New York Teaching Fellows program, he received a Masters of Education degree at Lehman College and began a rewarding career with the New York City Department of Education. He first taught 6th grade, then became an Assistant Principal after receiving another master’s degree from Columbia University Teachers College. In 2011, Larry became the founding Principal of the Stephen T. Mather Building Arts and Craftsmanship High School in partnership with the National Park Service. He was deservedly very proud and dedicated to Mather H.S. and to the culture he created of putting every student first and preparing them to not only grow but to flourish.
“Quite simply, Larry was the love and center of my life. He was my director, stage manager, costumer, set designer, stylist, and star. And he did it all while doing the same for 400 high school students and 50 teachers every year. Even now, he directs my life and choices from the booth! As the song from Songs For A New World says, “carry me on, carry me on.” This scholarship is one way we can carry him on with us, by helping to carry some bright young souls into their exciting new act. Please consider a generous donation.”
– Tony Bellomy, Larry’s husband, Elmwood Member, and music director
Larry was involved in many local community theaters and in recent years he acted, sang, and directed throughout New York and Connecticut. At Elmwood Playhouse he served on the Board of Directors and appeared in several productions including Sunday In The Park With George, Next to Normal, and – spectacularly – as Zaza in La Cage aux Folles. He directed She Loves Me and Next Fall, and during the pandemic, he co-conceived Porch Stories, Elmwood’s answer to The Moth Radio Hour.
Larry had a unique ability to inspire people around him to be the best they could be in any given moment. He energized and encouraged his students, his teaching colleagues, his fellow actors, and his many theatre collaborators, challenging them to surpass their own personal expectations of what they could achieve. Never settle, and never stop loving. This is Larry D. Gabbard in six words.
After a short but valiant battle with cancer, Larry died peacefully at home on Sunday, April 25, 2021. He is truly and deeply missed by his husband, family, and dear friends, as well as his school and theatre communities.
“Working on shows with Larry was remarkably enjoyable because he was a creative, thoughtful theater maker. He also happened to be a creative, thoughtful educator. In his mind, the two worked hand in glove. This scholarship will further the education of some young person in the performing arts, which is the perfect amalgam of both worlds that Larry loved so much.”
– Claudia Stefany, Elmwood Board Member, and director