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June 2022

Music In Our Lives

          When passing through the village of Verrett, at any given day and time, you could hear music resonating from the Carr family home. Grandpa was a musician whose gift was passed down to his offspring after he inherited it from his ancestors. His family consisted of Educators within institutions of higher learning, Politicians within the State and National level, Musicians whose melodies were infused with  the words and music of people of all colors and nationalities, Ministers whose life was spent among other clergy, and included leadership positions among colleges and universities, Activist who dared to defy the masses engaging them in debates and actively righting the wrong that slavery had forced upon voices in an effort to heal the damage brought on by the civil war. With everything being as it is today, music has survived and is growing and still going strong in this family.

          Our grandfather, Rev. William Henry Carr, received formal piano lessons during his upbringing. He was and still remains the first African American to play the pipe organ in Saint Bernard Parish. This musical talent was passed on to two of his daughters, Ellen and Margery.  But this endowment was not limited to his two daughters, nor was it limited to the piano. His son, Willie Carr became well known throughout New Orleans and surrounding areas for his talent playing the guitar. He was lead musician for numerous singing groups and was often heard on the local radio stations every Sunday morning in greater New Orleans. His son Samuel Carr was a very talented soloist. Samuel, along with his siblings were all gifted singers.

          This musical ability has not been lost. It is now carried on by the grandchildren. Many of these resourceful children are musicians, soloist, choir directors, and members of singing groups. Our family is blessed to have highly talented violinist, pianist, drummers, clarinetist, saxophonist, and organist within this family. It is my sincere wish that those who picked up the torch will continue to carry it with pride and dignity and pass it along to those generations yet to come.

Yvonne Richard Sanchez

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