Vic Larsen grew up in Key West, Florida, and began his musical career with the Key West High School Fighting Conch Band, playing trombone and holding the position of drum major for his last two years. After completing high school, he attended the University of Miami on a musical scholarship, becoming drum major of the Miami Band of the Hour for all four years of his college career. He served as president of the university chapter of Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity and was inducted into Iron Arrow, the University of Miami’s highest leadership honorary fraternity, in which he served as “Son of Chief” (Vice President). He graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. In 1997, he was inducted into the University of Miami Band of the Hour Hall of Fame for music attainment.
Vic taught music, including chorus and band, for 34 years in Miami, Ft. Pierce, Okeechobee, Plant City and Riverview. He also taught choral music at Weber College in Babson Park. He founded and directed the American Drum Major Academy in Leesburg, Florida, and operated the academy in several states from the eastern seaboard to Iowa. During his career, Vic judged high school marching band competitions throughout Florida and Georgia. One of these was the Edison Pageant of Lights in Ft. Myers, where he met Charles MInelli. Charlie and Vic became good friends. When Mr. Minelli formed the Lakeland Community Band, Vic became a member. Along with other band directors, Vic helped direct the band during Mr. Minelli’s illness. When Mr. Minelli retired, Vic took on responsibility for conducting the Community Band, becoming an associate conductor of the Band.
Space does not allow listing all of Vic’s accomplishments. He has tap danced since he was five years old — his first love! He has been featured in many performances with various organizations. While teaching sixth-grade music, he introduced the instruments of the band and orchestra to students by making crude facsimiles of the real instruments from discarded household items and “junk” — things the kids could get their hands on without expense. They created a pan-a-phone from frying pans, garden hose bugles, and other improvisations. Vic performs his one-man “junk band” shows at student assemblies and local libraries.
Vic has practiced as a Florida Licensed Massage Therapist in Plant City since 1985. He was invited to work as a massage therapist at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta for the National Synchronized Swimming Team. He was also invited to work as a massage therapist with the Paralympics, where his assignment was the men’s volleyball competition. His teams were from the U.S., Czech Republic, England, Germany, Israel, France, and Slovakia.
Vic presently plays bass trombone in the Imperial Symphony Orchestra in Lakeland, an organization he has participated in since 1971, as well as serving as conductor of the Lakeland Concert Band, which he has participated in for its entire history. The Lakeland Concert Band is indeed fortunate to have Vic Larsen as our director. All of his life experiences have come together to form a rich palate of colors and textures that he draws from to create the interestingly choreographed and entertaining performances we provide for our audiences. We invite everyone to come and enjoy our concerts, performed under his direction.