Freeport Presbyterian Church
Pianist Larry Semerad and wife, Sandy
Even as a child, our pianist, Larry Semerad, loved the piano. It became his constant companion after he was stricken with Perthes Disease, a congenital illness, which prevented him from walking for a number of years.
Larry comes from a musical family and has played in the family’s band. His father, a celebrated trombonist, has played with the likes of Ray Charles, James Brown, Guy Lombardo, Doc Severinsen and many others.
In high school and while at the University of Notre Dame, Larry played the glockenspiel. He has performed in the Cotton Bowl halftime show, is a boxing featherweight champion, and is currently a massage therapist. Through all of this he has never given up his love for the piano.
After his family moved to New Orleans, Larry earned a bachelor’s degree in music composition from the University Of New Orleans. He arranged music for a performance group representing Tulane University and played for Triumphant Methodist Church. Larry has played with several bands, opening for Chuck Berry, Elvin Bishop, and Percy Sledge. He has also performed on a few television programs.
Larry’s dream of living on the Emerald Coast was realized when he was hired as an arranger and keyboardist for the Great Pretenders, a show band at Yesterdays, a club here in Destin. He met and married his wife, Sandy, here and decided to leave the band. Since then, he and Sandy have written songs and two musical productions together.
Prior to coming to Freeport Presbyterian Church, Larry played piano at Rosemont Baptist Church in Niceville. He now enjoys the spiritual fulfillment of playing hymns for us at Freeport Presbyterian and we enjoy getting to listen to this much experienced musician whose New Orleans roots frequently shine through. Larry states that he feels welcome and appreciated and looks forward to the choir’s growth.