14 October 2009

Tonight's show was recorded on Friday, 9 October 2009, and is dedicated to Valerie Crockett:

Worcester -- Valerie Crockett, 53, a singer, songwriter and musician, died Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009, after a three-year battle with leiomyosarcoma. She leaves her husband of 30 years, Walter Crockett, a son, Jackson Crockett, and a daughter, Emily Crockett, all of Worcester; her father Carlton Orchinik, and his wife, Beth, of Drexel Hill, Pa.; two brothers, Miles Orchinik of Phoenix, Ariz., and Jeffery Orchinik of Dresher, Pa.; two sisters, Leah and Julia Orchinik, both of Drexel Hill, Pa.; close family friends Judith Kasser of Philadelphia, Pa., Janice Morgan Jones and Eric Greece of Worcester, and many dear friends in Worcester’s musical community and beyond. She was born Valerie Ann Orchinik in Philadelphia, Pa., daughter of the late Alma (Jenkins) Orchinik. She attended Oak Lane Country Day School and graduated from Cheltenham High School ranked first in her class. She graduated magna cum laude from Clark University in 1978 with a degree in sociology. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Valerie had a long-time interest in mathematics and childhood education, and she taught math early to her children, both of whom became statisticians. Gifted with an evocative alto voice, Valerie was drafted into music as soon as she graduated from college. She and Walter formed the band Crockett with Duke Levine in the fall of 1978. They played their original music throughout New England for four years before retiring to start a family. After a brief stint in Sugar Mama and the Bad Dads (consisting of a single gig), they formed the acoustic band Valerie & Walter Crockett and the Oxymorons in 1994. With the Oxymorons, Valerie honed her songwriting. She had a unique ability to touch people’s emotions with songs that mirrored her vivacious and compassionate spirit. The band recorded four CDs and performed in coffeehouses and concerts around New England, including three appearances the Boston Folk Festival. Valerie was a devoted mother and an accomplished accessibility advocate who guided Emily through many successful battles with the Worcester public schools and Harvard College. She was a member of the Bay State Council of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind. She was a former vice president of the board of Audio Journal. Valerie is remembered for her sparkling smile, her love of people and dogs, and her inner beauty. Valerie's passion for life and unflagging determination inspired her family through the long fight with cancer.

Music In Harmony