July 2012

Otak architect Don Larry has been recognized as an Arizona CultureKeeper for his 25 years of research and documentation of early brass bands and their music during Arizona’s territorial period (1863-1912) both as a historian and brass musician. He is one of the 100 CultureKeepers honored in Arizona for the state’s 2012 Centennial celebration. A euphonium player since the age of 8, Don is the founder of the Territorial Brass, Arizona’s Official Historical Brass Band, which has produced two CD recordings. Don was invited by the Historic Brass Society to speak at their international symposium earlier this month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Part of the talk included a section about former NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and his boyhood days in 1890s Arizona Territory as the son of an Army bandmaster. Word got out about this portion of the talk, and Fiorello’s granddaughter, Dr. Katherine LaGuardia, contacted Don and asked to watch the presentation. Dr. LaGuardia and her husband attended the symposium as special guests, and Don had the honor of introducing them before an audience of over 150 historians and music academicians gathered from North and South America, Europe and Australia. Don’ presentation was well received, and we are proud to have an Arizona CultureKeeper working in our Tempe office!


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