Gordon in the News: last updated 10/24/2008

Accomplished Composer and Adjunct Faculty Member Charles Raymond Loring III Passes Away

September 8, 2008           

Cyndi McMahon
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA-Ray Loring, adjunct professor of music at Gordon College, passed away Saturday, September 6th after suffering a heart attack while hiking in New Hampshire. 

Loring taught courses in music composition, music theory and instrumental arrangement at Gordon College. An accomplished composer, he scored nearly one hundred episodes for the NOVA series Saving The National Treasures, as well as numerous other PBS commissions, including Frontline, The History Channel and The Discovery Channel. "Ray was an incredibly talented composer and much sought after to compose music for NOVA programs," said Paula S. Apsell, senior executive producer for NOVA of WBGH Boston. "Everyone at NOVA has always loved working with Ray. He was not only talented and bright, he always knew the right melody to go with our programs," she said. "We knew he was busy teaching at Gordon College, but we were hoping to work with him again. Many producers here worked with Ray and loved him. He will be sorely missed."

A classically trained pianist, Loring studied with Fred Noonan, the White House pianist for Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. At age 28 he wrote the score for the film Ruby.

"Gracious, kind-hearted, and always ready to do more to serve others, Ray was greatly appreciated by students and colleagues here at Gordon College," stated Gordon Provost Mark Sargent. "His passing is an occasion for sadness, but we can also celebrate a life of dedication, service and kindness."

Also a founding member of Emmaus Road Ministries, a charity that brings medical care to persons during times of war and natural disaster, Loring was considered "the Norman Rockwell of music composition-composing miracles in his beloved studio, which was a converted barn loft next to his Georgetown home," said Dr. Stephen Price, President of Emmaus Road Ministries. "He was able to recognize talent and fan the flames of creativity in his many students. Ray had a deep faith. He was respected and loved by persons of all creeds and race, who readily recognized that in his success he never left God out as he walked passionately, yet humbly with his Creator."  (Deuteronomy 8 vs. 6-18)
Born in 1943, Charles Raymond Loring III was a graduate of Perley High School in Georgetown, Yale University, and was a Woodrow Wilson fellow at Brandeis during his graduate years. The Gordon College community, where Loring first began teaching in 2006, will miss him dearly. "Ray was fabulous mentor and teacher, and great man of faith," said Tom Brooks, Chair of the Gordon Department of Music. "We are certainly shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of our friend and colleague."

A funeral service for Ray Loring will be held on Saturday, September 13, at 10 a.m. at the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham.
A concert in his honor will be held on Friday, September 12, from 7-9:30 p.m. in the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel featuring the Welsh Male Chorus. The concert will be dedicated to Loring and feature a song written in his honor by Gordon College music major Ahyoung Yoo. Tickets are $15 with concert proceeds going to help Abdul Halim, 16, of Bangladesh get open heart surgery in India, and the Emmaus Road Ministry continue its medical mission to the people of the world in times of war and natural disaster.

Contributions in Ray Loring's honor may be made to:

Ray Loring Memorial Fund
c/o The Center for Music Excellence
Gordon College
255 Grapevine Rd.
Wenham, MA, 01984

First Congregational Church in Boxford
c/o Missions/Outreach
4 Georgetown Rd
Boxford, MA 01921

Boxford Academy
4 Georgetown Rd
Boxford, MA, 01921


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.



Ray Loring