In loving memory of
Harold Blanchard
  • June 21, 1930
  • -
  • December 19, 2010

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Obituary

Blanchard, Harold - Harold Blanchard, 80, of New Smyrna Beach, passed away on December 19, 2010 at Hospice of Volusia/Flagler Care Center. He was a renown classical and jazz pianist who delighted music lovers with his insightful and harmonically rich interpretations, compositions, and recordings.  He incorporated his classical piano background into his jazz interpretations which resulted in a seamless, virtuoso style which became his trademark. In newspaper and magazine articles over the years he has been called "Resident Jazz King" and  "New Smyrna Beach's Ambassador of Jazz."   Harold Blanchard was born to musician parents in Harlem, New York City. His musical education started at age 6, and he displayed extraordinary ability with the piano from the start. At age 7, he began a 10-year study of classical music with Juilliard School graduate Edwin Coates, and he later studied at the Juilliard School of Music under pianist Jacques Abram. By age 14 he gave his first solo recital and his first New York City recital a year later. As a teenager he was also starting to play with several jazz quartets.   After serving for one year in the Armed Forces, he began to be intensely interested in the understanding of God's Word, the Bible. Thus, since the age of 20, both loves dominated his life...his love of music and his love of God. He became a member of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1950, after which he kept developing both areas of his life.   He never stopped educating himself in music, which resulted over the years in his development as a composer of serious classical works for other musicians. One example of this is his composition The New Earth Sonata that was recorded  in 1983 under the CBS-Masterwork's label for flutist Hubert Laws and pianist Chick Corea. The highly acclaimed piece, which combines classical themes with intermittent space for jazz improvisation, spent 16 months on Billboard's Top 10 and is a showcase for Harold Blanchard's ability as a composer in both the classical and jazz mediums.   Harold was also a beloved music teacher. At Stetson University, where out of recognition for his vast knowledge he was given the honorary title of Ph.D, he began in 1988 as an adjunct professor teaching a  jazz improvisation course required for all music majors. He was also elected to the presitigious Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society in 1989. Even though his thorough understanding of music harmony and theory and his inner musical ear were amazing,  it was his joyful, gentle nature that captured the hearts of his students.   He will long be remembered as a warm, unselfish person who gave willingly of his talents and knowledge to others. We are sure that he dwells in God's heart and will one day hear the voice of the Lord Jesus calling him out to a resurrection of life. (John 5:28,29)    His memorial service is open to the public and will be held Monday, Jan.3, 2011, 6:30 p.m., at the Assembly Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 299 North Tomoka Farms Rd., Daytona Beach.

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  1. 16 Jan 2020
    Renfro Fred says:
    Thanks for playing at our wedding 49 years ago. Guatemala, Congregación Sur, zona 8.
    Fred and Estela R.

  2. 16 Jan 2020
    Renfro Fred says:
    Loved Harold...thanks for playing at our wedding, 49 years ago; Guatemala, Congregación Sur zona 8.
    Fred and Estela R.

  3. 29 Jan 2013
    Dick Van Dyke says:
    My wife Arlene and I have so many memories of Harold and his Dad. We were in the Ormond Beach congregation for years and got to hear them both giving public bible talks as well as listening to Harold play in many different venues. One group he played with on cruise boats was with Tom and Ginny Reynolds along with his daughter (I believe) to earn funds to continue pioneering. So, we look forward to being together soon in Jehovah's new order, when "one take Harold" will be reunited with all.

  4. 18 Sep 2012
    Chance Morrison says:
    R.I.P. Harold.

  5. 03 Aug 2012
    Maggie says:
    100 Essential Jazz aulmbs?i don't see any of John Zorn's Masada aulmbs!where is Herbie Hancock?where is Wayne Shorter?how about John Coltrane's Giant Steps or Blue Train?what joke..

  6. 15 Jan 2011
    Patricia Freeman says:
    Dear Sister Blanchard,

    How very sorry I am to hear of the passing of Brother Blanchard. What a wonderful day it will be when you and Brother Blanchard are reunited in the paradise earth. May Jehovah continue to give you strrength to endure until the time you are able to see your dear husband again. We would definitely be lost without the resurrection hope. Be strong dear sister.

  7. 07 Jan 2011
    Adrienne Panzarella says:
    Not only was Harold the most amazing musician, and pianist I will ever know, he was also such a wonderful, giving person. I'm so sorrry to have missed the service, I did not find out about his passing in time. My father truly loved him, as well as I do, as well as my family. He will remain in our hearts forever. I would not be who I am today without him. To his family - I am so very sorry for your loss. He will always be remembered, and I know you will be rejoined in The Paradise. Harold will never be forgotten, or replaced. He was a true miracle in this world. I send my love and my heart to his family. He will be missed dearly.

  8. 03 Jan 2011
    Barbara Clinton says:
    Loving Jehovah, kind to all, generous, patient, joyful and always ready to encourage with positive words and actions. All these qualities and more Harold daily displayed. How thankful we are for the hope of a resurrection! Gladys, Gilda, Timo, please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  9. 01 Jan 2011
    Martha Brandt says:
    With a grateful heart, all good wishes for peace to Harold, our beloved teacher and soulman, and to Gladys, a loving and true companion always

    "Music is the heart of all who love. Music uplifts the soul to realms above. The ashes glow, the latent fires increase. We listen and are filled with joy and peace." Rumi


  10. 31 Dec 2010
    Marion Dickerman says:
    With my Very Deepest Sympathy - Marion Dickerman

  11. 29 Dec 2010
    Katherine Currey says:
    Loved listening to you play at Angell & Phelps!

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