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Meet the Cast: Larry Carter

 

By Todd Camp

Larry Carter

Details: Born in Big Spring, Texas, this 71-year-old is currently retired. His entire working career was spent in radio and television, including 26 years at NBC in Burbank, Calif. During that time, he built sets for The Tonight Show, Days of Our Lives, “and about a million Bob Hope Christmas Specials and game shows,” Carter says.

Chops: Starting in a boy’s choir in the sixth grade, he appeared in several musicals in college while pursuing a degree in theater and speech at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.

Most memorable performance: Carter says he’ll never forget his debut with Turtle Creek Chorale in 2009. The concert was called If Music Be the Food of Love and it particularly hit home after his 20-year-old grandson was killed by a drunk driver the month before the opening.

“Music, for me … was indeed the ‘Food of Love.’ My Turtle brothers wrapped their arms around me and have never let me go. I am forever indebted to them for keeping me sane and grounded during the darkest time of my life.”

Favorite song performed: It’s a song that, unfortunately, is sung too many times at funerals of Chorale members, “… and a song that will also be sung at mine: ‘Majesty and Glory of Your Name.’I still cannot make it through without tears,” he says. “Mostly tears of joy at the sound and the total commitment from us all. It’s one of the most powerful songs I’ve ever heard.”

What draws him to Turtle Creek Chorale: After sitting in the audience for three years, Carter finally decided he had to sing. “Celebrating my membership in Turtle Creek Chorale and celebrating the life of my grandson, Josh. That’s my commitment … and what keeps me coming back day after day, week after week, year after year.”

Fun Fact Most Don’t Know About You: During his tenure at NBC, Carter made several appearances on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno playing former FBI head J. Edgar Hoover … in drag! He also appeared as the Queen Mother of Eng

Meet the Cast: Sean Orr

 

By Todd Camp

Sean Orr

Personal Details: This 32-year-old Santa Clara, Calif. native grew up in Rock Springs, Wy., before relocating to Texas in 2000. By day, he works as an assistant vice president at Bank of America.

Chops: His past musical experience consisted of belting Mariah Carey tunes in the shower, but Orr says that five years with the group has left a lasting impression. “The level of experience and the musical excellence that Turtle Creek Chorale is known for has definitely impacted the way in which I hear and express music today,” he says.

Most memorable performance: Touring Spain with a Turtle Creek Chorale concert series in 2010, Orr has many fond memories of his experiences there. But the moment that stuck with him came when the group was on a guided tour of the architecturally stunning Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

“While in the middle of the massive cathedral, the chorale performed a very impromptu performance of ‘Ave Maria,’” Orr recalls. “It was magical; the music filled the room and the other tour groups stopped. Workers laid down their hammers and all got to enjoy the emotional, memorable experience. To me, in essence, that’s what music is all about!”

Favorite song performed: Orr says his favorite Turtle Creek Chorale tradition comes during their traditional Christmas concert performances. “Each year, we conclude the show with a rendition of ‘Peace Peace’ and ‘Silent Night.’ Both members and Turtle Creek Chorale patrons are transported to a place of reflection and joy, and at this moment, I feel the Christmas spirit has officially arrived.”

What draws you to Turtle Creek Chorale: “I see it as a fraternity of brothers, and some of my best friends were born from the chorale,” Orr says. “Turtle Creek Chorale is a source of fun, escape, joy, love, and community to me.”

Fun Fact: He’s an adventure seeker, whether it’s skiing in Snowmass, Colo., whitewater rafting down the Snake River in Wyoming, or taking flying trapeze lessons in Dallas. “If it gets my heart racing, I’m in!” he says.