Gerry L. Wright

WINSLOW – Gerry L. Wright was born March 18, 1934, in Lewiston at CMMC to Paul and Bertha (Miller) Wright, and died on Oct. 1, 2023, at 89 years of age at his home in Winslow.

Gerry began playing piano at the tender age of 7 and continued with select learning about playing piano through 2002 with instructors such as Peter Re, (Colby College) Katherine Foley, (UMO), and Fred Green, (Boston, Mass.).

He graduated from Edward Little High School in Auburn in 1952, and Thomas College in Waterville in 1969, then continued his education further, graduating from the University of Maine at Orono in 1982.

After graduating from Edward Little High School on a Friday evening in 1952, he moved to Waterville that weekend, hired by the Templeton Hotel in Waterville as a pianist. This kicked off his 71-year career as a musician and teacher. While his family would love to list all the musicians with whom Gerry performed, all the clubs at which he performed, and all the students with whom Gerry taught musical education up and down the East Coast, space in this newspaper would not allow.

A Musical Tribute to celebrate Gerry’s life will be Oct. 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Performing Arts Center in Oakland (Messalonskee High School) with The Al Corey Big Band under the direction of Brian Nadeau. A full listing of Gerry’s resume will be available as inspiration for those just starting or continuing a life in the world of music.

Gerry’s life as a music teacher began in 1970 at SAD#47 in Oakland. This “gig” lasted until 1998 at which time he was employed by The Gifted and Talented program for Oakland, Waterville, and Fairfield choral music until 2004. From 2005 until 2018 Gerry taught at MCI in Pittsfield (vocal and piano music). After “retiring,” Gerry continued performing and accompanying musicians until 2023. During his “downtime,” he provided music for the Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, N.H. for 27 years with occasional private concerts.

Gerry started working at Al Corey’s Music Center in 1962 as a clerk in the store, which then led to an illustrious career with Al and his band throughout the rest of both gentlemen’s careers. Gerry had planned to play with the Al Corey Band in November of this year (so, he never actually did retire).

Gerry met Fred Petra in 1952 and played with the Fred Petra Band in New England and Canada until 1998. He also played with his longtime friend and fellow musician, Don Doane, and his “Portland Gang” throughout his career.

Gerry was the pianist with the Tony Bruno Orchestra from Boston, Mass., which allowed him to perform with Elvis Presley.

Gerry would say we were remiss if we didn’t mention his deep affection for Steve Fotter, Andy Forster, Chris Neville and Brian Nadeau and the memories they shared from all the years of working together and their friendship.

Gerry is survived by his wife and best friend of 48 years, Sharon (Philbrick) Wright; his daughter, Jennifer Wright of Mount Vernon; granddaughters Kassidy Freitas (Jo) of Augusta, and Evelyn Giroux of Mount Vernon; several nieces, and nephews; as well as brothers and sisters-in-law.

He was predeceased by his son, Steven L. Wright; his parents; his brother, Paul; his mother and father-in-law, Ray, and Florence (Keene) Philbrick; sister and brother-in-law, Rae Ann (Philbrick) and Darrell Brann.

Arrangements are under the care of Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta. Condolences, stories and photo’s may be shared through the funeral home website at:

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the

“Gerry L. Wright Summer Camp Scholarship,”

c/o Messalonskee High School Music Department,

131 Messalonskee High Dr.,

Oakland, ME 04963

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