Sunday, April 23, 2023

In Memoriam: Lloyd F. (Buck) Grace

Buck Grace

The Concord Band honors the memory of percussionist Buck Grace. A proud veteran of United States Navy, he served from 1945–1948 as an Aviation Machinist Mate, aboard aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge. After receiving a B.S. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Buck's professional career spanned chemical engineering at U.S. Steel, industrial administration at Kennecott Copper Corp., and facilities services management at W. R. Grace & Co.

A talented mechanic, Buck built elaborate model train layouts in his basement and backyard. The garden railroad became a center of entertainment for family and friends, ultimately inspiring fascinating train travel for Buck and his wife, June, throughout the US and abroad.

Decades of intellectual and spiritual gatherings enriched Buck's life with enduring friendships and inspired his unabated curiosity. An avid walker, his quest for optimal aging aligned with his ability to find humor and positivity in life.

Buck displays custom percussion equipment.
A Depression-era upbringing shaped Buck's work ethic and sparked passions including music and a desire for lifelong learning. The son of a musician, Buck’s musical talents extended beyond voice and piano when in his retirement June, who in 1995 was a flutist and member of the Board, invited him to join. He became a percussionist, performing with the group as recently as last summer. Through on-the-job training, he mastered the crash cymbals and many accessory instruments.

Rolling stand base
Buck's mechanical skills were employed for constructing and perfecting unique percussion gadgets. When commercially available cymbal stands proved inadequate, Buck built a rolling base for the commercial stand to accommodate rapid instrument switch-ups that occur frequently in percussion parts.

Buck was highly regarded for his "can-do" spirit and aplomb under pressure. He was renowned for his punctual renditions of the "whip" in Sleigh Ride and remembered by audiences for his humorous performances, front and center, on cymbals and accessories in A Salute to Spike Jones.

Buck was commemorated together with other honorees in the In Tribute Concert on March 4th.