Memorial Book for Lawrence Paul Sobol

We welcome you to share your memories with us and with those who visit here. You can post to the memorial book by leaving a message at the bottom.

  1. Professor Sobol was my teacher and mentor. I began studying with him as a student at Performing Arts High School in 1982.
    I am so glad we were able to see and speak to each other recently. I am also very happy that he was able to share his vast knowledge with my students at Fort Hamilton High School. He will live on in me for as long as I am here and I can hear him speaking to me now, “C# OBERLE!!!!!!!!!!!) lol

  2. Professor Sobol teaching the students of Fort Hamilton High School about life, through the music of Alan Hovhaness.

    sobol

  3. It is because of Mr. Sobol’s guidance, direction, and support that I decided to become a professional musician. As a bassoonist and vocalist for 16 years with the Air Force Band, I spoke of him often. I even had the opportunity to visit with him several times during my playing days. I will never forget this brilliant man. May His Memory Be A Blessing. Andrew Traugot, Smithtown HS East, Class of 1978.

  4. “Watch the stick!” Thank you Mr Sobel for enriching our appreciation of music, in all it’s varied permutations. Your insistence on excellence created many fine musicians, and cultivated much talent. We will miss you.
    Attached is a photo of one of your special proteges, Joe Rutkowski, and his friends, Gene Sniegocki and me.

    11884957_10153170819328995_5021500462970182968_o

  5. The Friends of Music of Smithtown would like to express our deepest sympathy to Mr. Sobol’s family. He was a legendary educator in our district. We are forever grateful for the scholarship that bears his name. May he Rest in Peace.

  6. With my deepest condolences to his friends & family….Lord…Please welcome Lawrence into your Blessed Kingdom, & may he fly with the Angels in Heaven, for he had the kindest soul on earth….Rest in Peace Forever.

  7. He helped us plan the music and played a beautiful haunting clarinet solo at my father’s memorial service. I had no musical talent so did not interact with him directly in high school though I certainly knew how much the band members loved him. I only learned at that time what a great person he was and why my father loved him so much besides their both playing the clarinet. His spirit lives on in the students he touched. The world has lost one of those people who made a big difference one person at a time.

  8. Mr. Sobol set a standard of professional musical performance I hadn’t ever seen until I met him in the late 60’s at Smithtown Central High School. His passion ignited my interest in music and propelled me into further study beyond high school and an attachment to all types of music that has lasted my whole life. He brought me as well as countless other young musicians into the world of professional classical music at a very impressionable time which has stayed with me my whole life. He was a great man, a great musician and a powerful educator. I’ll never forget him.

  9. I will never forget the joy Larry brought to my childhood household and years beyond, as he was loved by so many. He was more than a friend, and always referred to as “Uncle Larry”; a musical prodigy, conversationalist, devoted friend, and ever loving father. He always reemphasized the boundaries of great musicianship and how a good listener makes for a quality artist. There was never a dull moment when Larry came to town! The sun has come to pass and set this final time. “Here comes the sun, here comes the sun…And I say it’s all right… ~ All our condolences to the Sobol family!
    Love ~ The Pinto’s

  10. Larry Sobol, you pushed us, you prodded us, you berated us, you demanded our attention, and expected excellence from us, and you got it. You were among the most passionate teachers I have ever had, in any discipline. You taught us team work, discipline, and endurance, and that we, mere high school students, were capable of producing magic. Thank you, Mr. Sobol, for showing us the value of practice and hard work. The lessons I learned from you have generated wonderful results in both my private and professional lives. Rest in Peace, Mr. Sobol!

  11. Mr. Sobol you always expected more from us than we ever thought we were able to give, but somehow the best in us always came through. Thank you for caring enough to let us shine.

  12. I was very lucky to have known Larry Sobol and to have the opportunity to study clarinet with him. He was a unique and giving person, and an incredible musician, educator, and motivator. I studied with him while he was working on his book “Serve The Music” and got to play many of the exercises before they were published. His teaching had a profound impact on my musicianship. I also got to know his sons and perform with them multiple times. A sad day for music and for anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Sobol.

  13. In my junior or senior year of high school, around 1991, Mr. Sobol gave me 2 tickets to Carnegie Hall to see a concert in honor of Alan Hovhaness. They turned out to be front row seats. And it turned out that Richie Havens was opening. I’m pretty sure he was only singing to me. The whole night was magical and I will never forget it, or my years aging under the baton of Mr. Sobol.

  14. Thank you Larry for making me a better musician, for challenging me. From my arrival as a transfer in my Junior year of High School, you gave me a focus that was to serve me very well. I am glad we had a chance to talk at the the Class of ’71 Reunion. I am also so honored you attended the concert I arranged at Smithtown HS to honor our mutual student Ingrid Werth. I will miss thinking – I should message Larry and see if he ….. I had hoped to entice you to come up to Connecticut to conduct the Connecticut Flute Orchestra I am trying to build – I will think of you at our first concert – this gives me a “dedication” to plan. Your memory is a blessing to many students, we certainly butted heads a few times – but I owe you so much – my first PRO gig – that dinner theater “pre broadway” show in 1971….to my 1st concert in Smithtown in over 40 years in 2012. May Larry Sobol’s memory be a blessing. My deepest condolences to his family.

  15. Oklahoma, senior year and a long rehearsal that started after senior cut out day. There he was, sitting on his raised conducting chair snapping his baton, expecting perfection. He also knew as seniors, we’d had spent the day on the beach partying. So, there we were the choreographer and the girl who just can’take say No, sneaking in and sitting behind him, hoping/ praying he wouldn’t call any of our scenes. You got it, he did. Starting with the big dream scene toe ballet, large circling leaps. Which of course, he found a lot of fault and made choreographer to do those large circling leaps over ten times!! Oh, good lord!, What was he gonna do to me????
    My friend came off the stage huffing and puffing nearly throwing up than said Good luck!
    Filled with dread of the possibility having to sing my song over and over again. Head down, walking to center stage. Mr. Sober corrected my posture.” You look tense,” he said. I was, truth be told. So he had the whole orchestra stand up and do a breathing relaxing shake and twist, with me. Of course, a little word play. I sang “I’m just a girl who can’t say no!”. He look directly into my eyes. (Me thinking, damn what did I do wrong?How many times will he make me sing this?) Miss Folk? Yes, I answered sheepishly. Do that opening night…. Ok?
    Thank you Mr. Sober your exercises in structured silliness, made making music journey so much fun for all of us.

  16. Mr Sobol, you were such an amazing man and mentor to so many people. I can see from all the outpouring of love you energy and enthusiasm will live on for many years in all your students. Rest in peace! You will truly be missed.

  17. “I have Played with the greats!” Mr Sobol would remind us pretty much as i recall on a daily basis. Which is why I thought he was at least 60 years old. He was so accomplished. I was stunned to find out after graduation that he was only a few years older than all of us. I marvel that one so young could have done so much. So many memories…This is just one

  18. Mr Sobel, you were so often kind to a teenage girl who respected you, appreciated you but was so timid that I cried when you gave me that eye and pointy baton in practice! I’ve never had another teacher of your caliber. You took our high school symphonic band to Carnegie Hall! You raised us all to be more than we thought we could be. So many wonderful memories…….
    You will be missed.

  19. Correction: “On Tuesday night, the 120 members of the high school’s symphonic band will perform at Philharmonic Hall in Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The band, under the direction of Mr. Sobel, will play Alan Hovhaness’s “Symphony Ani, the City of 1001 Cathedrals,” which was commissioned by the Smithtown Music Department.” . (NYT 1973)

  20. Thanks to Larry and his constant passion for music, my love of music has continued since graduating Smithtown HS East in 1975. I was fortunate to spend an afternoon with him in summer 2015, sharing memories of the way he challenged us to excel. We laughed at how my fond memories included a time when he flicked the sweat from his brow on me after a particularly grueling rehearsal. But he always loved how we could sass him right back, while working our hardest under his direction. I will miss him. My sincerest sympathy to the family.

  21. My deepest sympathy goes to Mr. Sobol’s family and many friends. I remember him with fondness when thinking about the excellence he inspired us to strive for when putting on our school musicals. The lessons learned in high school from Mr. Sobol, Mr. Ingram, and Mr. Raftery through our Thespian Troupe have served me well throughout my life. Thank you, Mr. Sobol. RIP

  22. I am saddened by this news. My heart goes out to his loved ones. At Mr. Sobol’s final “retirement” concert, when his alumni came back to play under his direction one last time, everyone gave their all. He welcomed us back as a mentor, proud that we still chose music performance in our lives. His children were there and you could see the love in the family. I am grateful to him that I can still play (alto saxophone) well, and perform in a symphonic band more than 40 years after my HS graduation. It must have been the “long tones” (smile). Rest in peace.

  23. I remember Mr. Sobol for the wonderful musician he was and that he inspired in all of us. High school band was phenomenal because of him. The pressure, the hard work, the intensity – but also the fun, the achievements, the music that we created together. He introduced me to some of “the greats” – Richie Havens, David Diamond, Alan Hovhaness. He extended his baton to each of us. He taught us how to listen, encouraged collaboration, and “SOLFEGE!” lol – Rest in peace and beautiful music.

  24. What a lovely man Larry Sobol was. His stories and love of music will live on through all of those who had the good fortune to know him and learn from him. His gifts to my son through his teaching, including getting him through the doors of the college of his choice, are priceless. We are beyond grateful to him and send our deepest sympathy to his family.

  25. What an amazing person Larry Sobol was and what an impact he has had on oll off our lives. My condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.

  26. We have lost a wonderful person. Mr. Sobol was larger than life in so many ways. He touched all of us. RIP Sir.

  27. Sir Lawrence. You gave me the sacred and beautiful gift of Marlon and Aaron. When these two brilliant and kind souls came into my classroom, they became an indelible part of my life. Peggy, Hannah and Emma consider them our family. You and Elise created such incredible humans. Thank you for embracing me. Thank you for inviting me into your life, your home, your family. Your passion and intensity inspired me. You continue to inspire. Marlon and Aaron have never left my classroom. They are in my head as I teach. That is because of the warrior creativity and confidence and diligence and commitment and power you instilled. Thank you for the lovely gift of these men and you.

  28. I am fortunate to have counted Larry Sobol as my friend and colleague throughout the majority of my more than 30 years in music. He was a passionate artist and educator who was always willing to lend an ear and give advice. We are all saddened by his loss. Rest in Peace Larry. You will be missed.

  29. Larry was an icon who had such a zest for life and was a true friend. We were neighbors for over 15 years and he was a treasured jewel with a smiling face and hearty laugh to share with all. My family is distraught over this tremendous loss. My children grew up loving to hear Larry’s stories. His passion for his sons, grand children, music, students, Arthur Avenue, and just having a good time; which by the way he mastered in every facet. When he spoke of his sons and grandchildren, he would just be beaming from ear to ear. He was an incredible mentor and loved sharing his experiences with all.
    My family was so fortunate to have been part of Larry’s life. I am a firm believer our quilts of life include all the most inspirational family and friends that help us evolve as people each and everyday. His focus, aspiration in believing in yourself, and reaching for the stars no matter how far you think they are, generosity and compassion will remain with us forever.
    Love,
    The Coleman Family

  30. Larry’s technical command, dynamic control and warmth of tone on the clarinet was extraordinary, and made a huge impression on my young ears in 1969 during his visit to Smithtown’s Great Hollow Junior High School. Attending his Carnegie Recital Hall debut that included the world premier of “Saturn” by Alan Hovhaness, his unbelievably soft tone permeated the hall, embracing audience members to the balcony back row (near where I sat), such was the intensity and focus of his sound. Such a great musician and champion of new music! For a glimpse into his very active artistic life see his book, “Serve the Music” 94 Exercises for Clarinet” (2010) where he describes performing and commissioning new compositions by major 20th century composers Ingolf Dahl, David Diamond, Roy Harris, Karel Husa and Walter Piston. In high school our music teacher Mr. Sobol was legendary and transmitted to us his deep love of music, brought us together into a community of music, and showed us the transformative magic of making music. Etched especially deep in my soul are the Broadway Show performances we prepared of My Fair Lady, Oklahoma and West Side Story. I join in the chorus of his students when saying the single-minded intensity with which this man prepared us for a concert, the incessant drilling, and his unrelenting demand for excellence, set the standards for all the performances throughout my life, as a symphony musician, as a research scientist and as a teacher. I was fortunate to play along side Larry professionally, including one recording session that featured the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti. I feel so fortunate that we shared an hour long phone call last June when we reminisced about the past and spoke of upcoming performances and he spoke of the love and pride he felt for his family. Though gone, he lives through his influence and so will always be remembered. A ball of energy during rehearsals, he coupled humanity with ferocity, and demanded, refused to settle for anything but our best. Miriam Pashenz Kluger (from Smithtown HS Symphonic Band ’74) joins me in sending respects and condolences to his family.

  31. I took this photo of Mr. Sobol at our 2013 Thespian Society Reunion at the Beach Hut; we were thrilled he was able to join us.

    We have lost a piece of our history. Mr. Sobol was larger than life with such high expectations for all of us, and was able to see things in us that we may not yet have discovered ourselves. Just when you thought you had given your best performance, Mr. Sobol somehow got you to give a little bit more, each time, until it became one of your best! I hope he knows how much he helped shape so many lives, and instill such a strong work ethic that we carry with us still today.

    To quote the lyrics in a song from Wicked…Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

    RIP Mr. Sobol and thank you.

    mrsobo

  32. Mr. Sobol changed my life. He infused in me a passion for excellence and an intense work ethic that led me to respect true skill and ability wherever it may exist. The lessons Mr. Sobol taught, while sometimes difficult to experience, equipped me to face future opportunities and challenges that fell far outside of the musical context that was his craft. With Mr. Sobol, good was never enough. He was a superb musician and artist who drove those he worked with to higher levels. The musical mastery that he demonstrated established a level of credibility that I have attempted to achieve throughout my adult and professional life. Under Mr. Sobol, I learned to take complex challenges and break them into smaller, more manageable parts and reassemble them into a finished work. I lost contact with Mr. Sobol after graduating from high school, but have never forgotten what he taught and will forever appreciate the gift he gave so freely of knowing what excellence feels like and how to go about achieving it. My sincere condolences to the Sobol family.

  33. So saddened to learn of Larry Sobol’s passing. His passion and drive for excellence cannot be matched. I have never forgotten the joy that music brought to my life all those years ago. It’s a shame that more students will never know how wonderful life can be through his brilliance.

  34. My experiences with Mr. Sobol were few, though intense and something I will always remember. He was a great man and my heart is saddened by his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his Family and all those who mourn….RIP❤

  35. I’m very saddened to hear of Mr Sobol’s passing. He was my Symphonic Band teacher at Smithtown High School East from 1977-80. What a way to start the day! You would be blasting 1812 Overture or March Slave at 7am. He always expected the best from us. I admit I was sometimes scared, but always motivated! He introduced us to so many composers, Charles Ives, Sibelius, Mendelsshon, Wagner, just to name a few. He would enter us into NYSMA exams and arrange concerts for senior citizens, so it was so much more than just playing in a band. The seasonal school concerts! They were the highlights of the year; everyone in the band had to come in formal wear and Mr Sobol had the concerts recorded. I still have most of my music and the LPs! He was one of the teachers who made those years memorable. My sincerest condolences to his family, students and friends.

  36. Larry Sobol was a force of nature. I had the privilege of having him not only as a band and pit orchestra director, but also as my private clarinet teacher and mentor for 3 years. He tortured me daily in band rehearsal (my fellow band members know what I’m talking about!), and I loved every minute of it. He also had a wonderful sense of humor and a soft spot that wasn’t too hard to find. He demanded excellence and his students always rose to the occasion. To be a music student in the Smithtown schools from 1970-1976 with John Pinto in junior high and Larry Sobol in high school was a true gift and fills me with so many warm, and sometimes laugh out loud, memories. I am forever grateful for those experiences. Mr. Sobol may be gone from this earth, but he lives on in his colleagues, friends, family and untold numbers of music students.

  37. We all have the memories…..I’m reflecting here…….please allow another story….I know I wrote already……Needing a teacher, I was a freshman at the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan (1981). We had to perform annual juries and I needed to find a playable concerto. I went to Patelson’s Music House next to Carnegie to look at sheet music (after I met Prof. Sobol I went mostly to Frank’s Music). I found a playable concerto by Stamitz. I the looked for the LP. I found a recording with a clarinetist named Lawrence Sobol. I remeber the picture on the back was a black and white photo. I believe Prof. Sobol had a chain watch on across the vest and it just seemed old :) . I told my HS teacher, another amazing mentor, Jonathan Strasser, that I found a piece and the clarinetist was amazing. I told him that the clarinetist’s name was Lawrence Sobol. Mr. Strasser said, “Larry Sobol? I went to MSM with him.” He gave me his contact information. I was extrememly nervous when I called him and asked for a lesson. Prof. Sobol said, “I’ll let you audition for my studio.” lol. I was a young punk from Brooklyn. I was like, damn this is serious. I got my dad to drive me to Dix Hills. I entered and Prof. Sobol put me in the “hot seat.” He sat behind his desk with a cigar in his mouth and said, “Play Oberle.” After I played a bit, he got up and sat next to me. He took my clarinet. He took the biggest breath I have ever seen and began playing my clarinet. When he finished, he slowly took the clarinet out of his mouth with that look…..(you all know what I mean :))) and said, “Your clarinet. Your mouthpiece. Your reed. You do it.” :)))
    I remember the reed felt so much better following his playing it. It vibrated better. The whole reed was working. When I got home, I felt like a different player and person.
    I am sure this has happened to many.
    Sorry again for writing again….I may write many more times too… lol
    Never Forgotten :)

  38. We all have the memories…..I’m reflecting here…….please allow another story….I know I wrote already……Needing a teacher, I was a freshman at the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan (1981). We had to perform annual juries and I needed to find a playable concerto. I went to Patelson’s Music House next to Carnegie to look at sheet music (after I met Prof. Sobol I went mostly to Frank’s Music). I found a playable concerto by Stamitz. I the looked for the LP. I found a recording with a clarinetist named Lawrence Sobol. I remeber the picture on the back was a black and white photo. I believe Prof. Sobol had a chain watch on across the vest and it just seemed old :) . I told my HS teacher, another amazing mentor, Jonathan Strasser, that I found a piece and the clarinetist was amazing. I told him that the clarinetist’s name was Lawrence Sobol. Mr. Strasser said, “Larry Sobol? I went to MSM with him.” He gave me his contact information. I was extrememly nervous when I called him and asked for a lesson. Prof. Sobol said, “I’ll let you audition for my studio.” lol. I was a young punk from Brooklyn. I was like, damn this is serious. I got my dad to drive me to Dix Hills. I entered and Prof. Sobol put me in the “hot seat.” He sat behind his desk with a cigar in his mouth and said, “Play Oberle.” After I played a bit, he got up and sat next to me. He took my clarinet. He took the biggest breath I have ever seen and began playing my clarinet. When he finished, he slowly took the clarinet out of his mouth with that look…..(you all know what I mean :))) and said, “Your clarinet. Your mouthpiece. Your reed. You do it.” :)))
    I remember the reed felt so much better following his playing it. It vibrated better. The whole reed was working. When I got home, I felt like a different player and person.
    I am sure this has happened to many.
    Sorry again for writing again….I may write many more times too… lol
    Never Forgotten :)

  39. Lawrence Sobol had no business teaching high school music. An amazing musician, his legacy of live performances and recordings are unique treasures in the clarinet repertoire. An artist of his caliber normally finds their comfort zone in pure performance or the conservatory world. Yet a significant number of us in the high school bands of Simthtown found ourselves faced with this amazing musical force named Lawrence Sobol.

    His drive, his passion and commitment to what a teen musician could accomplish was remarkable to be part of. He took the high school symphonic band to a level of performance like few others. And for those of us fortunate enough to play clarinet, there was no place to hide from his demanding push for excellence. We had no choice but to learn and excel.

    I’ve taught high school for the past 10 years in Chicago, and have watched in sadness as music teacher after music teacher has been laid off as a budget cutting effort. I think about how the remaining “core” instructors interact with their students, teaching math, science and English preparing them for a college curriculum.

    The best lessons I learned, those with life-changing impact, came from Mr Sobol day after day. He undoubtedly changed the lives of many, creating a framework for overcoming challenge, maintaining focus and realizing the rewards of effort.

    Lawrence Sobol had no business teaching high school, but he was proof that the business of teaching and mentoring high school students can and should be changed.

    Mike Tooker Smithtown East ’75

  40. Mr. Sobol shaped people’s lives through music. I will be ever grateful for his enthusiastic urging that we received as young musicians of the symphonic band to excel with each note played!

    The practices for musicals, concerts, and field trips to NYC were unforgettable. We had the privilege to play Symphony No. 23 Ani by Alan Hovhaness. He will be fondly remembered.

    Marty Jackson SHSE ’74

  41. I took this photo of Mr. Sobol at our 2013 Thespian Society Reunion at the Beach Hut in Lindenhurst; we were thrilled he was able to join us.
    We have lost a piece of our history. Mr. Sobol was larger than life with such high expectations for all of us, yet was able to see things in us that we may not yet have discovered ourselves. Just when you thought you had given it your all, your best; Mr. Sobol somehow got you to give a little bit more, each time, until it became one of your best! I hope he knows how much he helped shape so many lives, and instill such a strong work ethic that we carry with us still today.
    To quote the lyrics in a song from Wicked…Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.
    RIP Mr. Sobol and thank you.

    Mr.Sobol_

  42. Larry Sobol was an absolute madman. His madness, though, was of an unconventional order; he was mad about music, about playing it and teaching it. He was a romantic, and found the romantic impulse everywhere. He even instituted a musical series, “The 20th Century Romantic,” which featured new music, music that would tax any imagination familiar with musical romanticism. Nonetheless, his was a larger than life soul with an ear for the soul of all kinds of music. As a conductor, his gyrations would make a Bernstein or Maher seem tame, and one such gesture caused his pant to fall down. As a private teacher, he demanded work. So many of us have fond memories of being struck about the head and torso as he taught how to parse a dotted rhythm, or how to solfege. He insisted on precision of technique and tone, for these were the rudiments for effecting beauty. He was uncompromising in every endeavor, and he imparted all his students with a sense that excellence was rare but worth achieving.

    After he was my teacher, he became a friend. As he moved into the future with the rest of us, he became something of an elder statesman of music and education. And I smiled to learn how he befriended the Athletic Director. I remember I broke my finger just before NYSSMA, he said, “Calandrino, what did I tell you about those sports!!”

    Larry could eat, and he ate like he played the clarinet, with panache and gusto. Somewhere between all that food and music was a fine man, if not a man for all seasons, certainly a man of a particular moment that betrayed a musical prodigy who had one foot firmly planted in the 20th century, and the other firmly in the 19th. This complex, romantic soul has left us, not alone, but with a rare ethics and values.

    If music be the food of love, play on…

  43. In case you haven’t seen this, from Smithtown Today’s FB page: Anyone with a fun story regarding Mr. Larry Sobol (Smithtown music teacher) please email me. We’re putting together a special tribute page to celebrate his life. Larry was a very special Music Man and we want to honor his memory with all he has influenced in this town. Email editor@smithtowntodaynews.com

  44. Mr Sobol was an incredible musician, educator and motivator. He challenged us to become better musicians and better people and to learn that with practice and endurance we could create something wonderful. As adults, so many of us continued on into the arts– be it vocation or avocation– I am most certain it had to with Larry. RIP Mr Sobol.

  45. Larry and I were childhood friends in North Massapequa. We were very close as teenagers and did a lot of things that teenagers do, some of which were really crazy. With some of our other friends, we formed a an a cappella doowap singing group, with Larry singing baritone, and we performed in bathrooms, under bridges at Jones Beach, or anywhere we can find an echo. Although the classical clarinet had always been his love and passion, Larry was convinced to play a rock & roll sax once in a while. Although we lost touch, we ran into each other about 30 or so years ago in Manhattan, and we spent some time telling each other about what we had been doing. Larry told me about the albums he had made, and about his musical relationship with Richie Havens. Then, perhaps a little less than a year ago, we reconnected, and spent about an hour or so talking on the phone. We planned to meet for dinner at some point but, alas, that didn’t happen. I.m sorry about that. Larry, you had a great life and a great career as a musician and teacher. Now, rest in peace.

  46. I was so very saddened to hear of Mr. Sobol’s passing. He was an extraordinary teacher and a refined, virtuosic musician, and I feel privileged to have been one of his students at Smithtown High School. Mr. Sobol (I’m sure he would want me to call him Larry, but I can’t), is the first person to introduce to me a world of music, and my first exposure to classical music: Wagner, Strauss, Mozart, Haydn, Rossini, Mahler, and more. Do my fellow Smithtown alumni remember performing, “Death And Transfiguration”? A heavy piece for a high school wind ensemble, let alone professional ensembles! I mention this piece because of his impassioned interpretation and meaning he explained to us, and sadly now has come to pass for him. But no matter what the music, Mr. Sobol put his heart and soul into each piece, and expected his students to do the same. So much passion! It’s no accident that so many of his students pursued music in college and beyond. It wasn’t until I was playing professionally, with students of my own, that I truly appreciated the accomplishment and skill he possessed. And the way he shared it with his students! As example, the premiere of the Hovaness Symphony 23, WITH the composer attending rehearsals in Smithtown, then getting to premiere the new Symphony at Lincoln Center. How many high schoolers experience that intensity? Mr. Sobol pushed me beyond the limits I thought were there. He did that with each student-he was very demanding, and pushed students because he saw their potential. At 16, he took me aside, to encourage me about my trumpet playing. “You should learn the Hummel Trumpet Concerto, it’s an important part of the repertoire”. When I told him it seemed a bit daunting, his response was quick and adamant, “You are ready—I know you can do this”. He wasn’t one you argued with! And he was right.
    Sure some comedic moments come to mind: Missing some notes every now and then always led to some kind of Sobol-ism, that he would always deliver with a chuckle.
    But it was his high standards, his adamant commitment to practice (and yes, long tones), and musicianship, that ultimately inspired me to continue my music education, and brief professional performance career. After landing a job in the music publishing field, I eventually moved to Los Angeles which led to a successful career in the movie business. Recently, as a member of a local community orchestra, we performed the Weber Clarinet Concerto. I thought of Mr. Sobol’s performance of this piece I recalled, and Martha and I did a google search to find it. It was there that we saw this obituary. Martha and I wanted to add our condolences to his family, and friends, and share the loss with our fellow Smithtown High School alumni.

  47. Larry was my life long friend and musical colleague. After meeting up again in the 1960s at The Manhattan School of Music after our childhood together in The Bronx, I can now hardly recount the performances we shared together, the many recordings we made together, the privilege I had of having so many of my works premiered by Larry and mostly the sheer joy of knowing Larry for a shared 60 years,

    I write this memorial with a deep and heartfelt sadness, however I am so happy to know that Larry will live on in the musical performances he has left us and in the lives of his two sons Marlon and Aaron. I will leave it to others to post his full Life Story but for now, on behalf of my wife Jane and myself Larry will live on in our joyous memories. May you Rest in Peace dear friend.

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