Band director gives back to students in Longwood

Larry Carthan is credited with starting the Elite Marching Band program.

News 12 Staff

Nov 15, 2019, 12:17 AM

Updated 1,654 days ago


A band director who works with kids all over the city to keep them off the streets is continuing that work by giving back to students in Longwood.

Larry Carthan is a Wall Street guy turned band director. Carthan is credited with starting the Elite Marching Band program, a music program that is now widely known across New York City for serving inner city children.

"Young people being shot, stabbed, gang violence going on,” he says. “And I said, ‘I got to make a difference.’"

Carthan's students know they have the rhythm down when he starts to tap his feet.

"A lot of kids come in if they are having problems at home or in school,” he says. “And this is a safe place for them to let all their emotions out."

He says band is an "in" for these students whether it’s an in to college or an in to their fellow classmates who cheer them on.

The Elite Marching Band program is all about structure, nurturing and making sure that students get all that they need to compete in our society.

"My job is to try to make some comradery to bring them all together as a team," says Carthan.

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