Gary Clancy

Jun 25, 2019
Gary Clancy

China — Gary Clancy, age 67, died peacefully at home Tuesday June 18, 2019, lovingly supported by his family after a heroic struggle with cancer. Gary was born in Troy, N.Y., Nov. 12, 1951. He is the son of John and Rosaline Clancy. Gary graduated from La Salle Institute, a Catholic college preparatory school in New York, studied liberal arts at Hudson Valley Community College, received an associate degree in culinary arts from Schenectady Community College, a bachelor’s degree in food service administration from SUNY Empire State College and a second bachelor’s degree in business administration from  SUNY at Albany.

As a young musician in the '60s and early '70s, Gary had an illustrious career touring the East Coast, sharing the stage with or opening for many renowned national acts ( Early in his professional career Gary took a respite from music, becoming a food service administrator for numerous hospitals in Boston. However, passion for music brought Gary to Midcoast Maine to pursue his dreams. Gary became the owner/music director of the “Dr. Music” program from June 1985 until June 2004.  Gary brought music students to a higher level of playing and education.

From June 1985 until 2013 Gary was a music educator/private instructor, teaching a variety of instruments and music-related topics at Northern Kingdom Music. As owner of FNA Recording Productions and Rosewood Recording Studio from July 1988 to October 2000 in Bremen, Gary created and produced a variety of multimedia recordings for TV, radio, film and CD release.  As an adjunct professor of jazz and contemporary music at University of Maine in Augusta and Rockland from 1987 to the present, Gary taught the music business curriculum, guitar, bass and ensembles. His latest endeavors included guitar and bass instruction at Midcoast Music Academy and owning Old Skool Recording Productions in South China, a complete multimedia recording and production facility.

Reflections from some of Gary’s students may best tell the story of a life well lived:

“It is with a heavy heart that I learn about the passing of a man who transformed my life.” “Gary was the epitome of cool in every way. His deep voice and soulful, chill presence was complemented by a powerful command of the electric guitar.” “He took my young, impressionable mind on a journey into classic rock and blues that still reverberates today, 32 years later.”  “Gary was my first idol.”  “He ignited a lifelong passion for the guitar and music in general.”  “He inspired thousands of students.” “Thank you forever -- everything I learned, everyone I met.” “I'm not sure you ever knew the gravity of the true impact you've had on others.”  “You will be missed, remembered fondly, never forgotten.” “Musical mentors are more than teachers... They are planters of seeds that will bear the fruit of their musical legacy long after they leave us...”  “I will deeply miss you and never forget all the magic you taught me on the guitar.” “ So long, my friend ...” “Gary was always there to answer any music/life questions anytime I called.” “One of the greatest men to ever touch my life. And it didn't matter where you fell on the musical knowledge scale, Gary never made you feel inferior.” “Gary taught me that sometimes, as in life, the wrong notes are the right choices to get to where you want to be.” “He pushed my creativity instead of my technicality. I will always hold my time with him close to my heart.” “He ushered in countless non-traditional musicians into the UMA music program with grace, patience and wisdom. He was able to gently push us to expand our boundaries.” “Inclusive of everyone at all levels. An amazing teacher and beautiful human being.”

Left to honor his memory are his loving wife, Dara Sorchini Clancy;  siblings Jack Clancy and wife Kelly, Deb Clancy Wager and his brother from another mother, “Texas Joey”. Gary will be missed by everyone he touched, his nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, the extended Sorchini family and Sugar Shey.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland, where a celebration of Gary’s life will begin at 4 p.m.

As a founding faculty member of Midcoast Music Academy, Gary's passion for music and education will live on through the Gary Clancy Memorial Scholarship Fund. This will help fulfill the mission of allowing any dedicated student to study music, regardless of financial constraint. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Gary Clancy Memorial Scholarship Fund, by visiting or contact MCMA directly by phone at 701-7410, email or at Midcoast Music Academy, 279 Main St., Suite 5, Rockland, ME 04841.

To share a memory or story with Gary’s family, visit their online Book of Memories at

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