North Suburban Hammond Organ Society

Eric Larson

Eric and his wife, Elizabeth

Eric Larson first became interested in music and musical sounds at a very early age, picking out simple tunes on the piano as a small child. At age twelve, he began his first music lessons, beginning on the piano with the well-known Elizabeth Joanne Schulze of the New England Conservatory, and then after hearing a Ken Griffin recording at age thirteen became instantly interested in the Hammond organ. At the same time, he also had an opportunity to visit and tour through a large three manual church pipe organ. "I was permanently hooked from then on," he says.  He began formal study with the late Doris Tirrell of Boston, a noted performer and teacher of the Hammond organ. Subsequently, Eric went on to study classical pipe organ for several years with Jack Fisher of Boston and later with Robert Love of Malden. At age eighteen, Eric also began apprenticing with the late Tolbert Cheek of Gloucester to learn the piano and pipe organ repair trade.

In his early twenties, Eric heard theater organ superstar George Wright and immediately decided that "this is definitely for me." After several years of looking, Eric eventually purchased a Robert/Morton theater organ from the late Richard Rand of Amesbury who had removed the instrument from a Worcester, MA theater a few years previously.

Eric's professional music experience includes playing for many private functions, a number of engagements in different restaurants and night clubs and he was for many years the Hammond artist and arranger for the former Jay Milton trio. In the 1970s, Eric worked with the Bavarian Band of Boston at the Colonial Ten Acres in Wayland, MA and also as a Hammond soloist. Eric has also done several theater organ concerts in the midwest and New England. He also played Hammond organ in various roller and ice skating rinks, beginning in 1963. Eight years ago, former NSHOS president Evelyn Hannon wished to simplify her life by relinquishing some of her many duties and commitments and appointed Eric acting president of the NSHOS, a position to which he was formally elected the following year. In 2005, Eric retired from a career as an instruments and controls technician at a large utility power station in Massachusetts but he is still in the power industry on a part-time basis. When not working in the power industry, he continues in the music business.

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