Carol Loud, until recently a resident of Martha’s Vineyard, died peacefully and gently on Oct. 5, 2023, in Canton, after a period of failing health.
Carol was born at home in Waterville, Maine, on June 9, 1934, to Russell and Gwendolyn Loud.
During her school years in Waterville, she began lessons on the violin and piano, which led to a lifetime of music, which she generously shared with the world through performance and teaching. During her high school years, she played bass drum in parades, which conjures up quite a picture, as Carol was rather a small, pixie type!
When she started dance lessons, she knew she’d found her passion.
After graduating from the University of Maine in 1956, she lived briefly in Boston, where she worked at what became public radio. She attended NYU Graduate School in New York City, where she began serious studies in dance. In the early Sixties she moved to California, where she taught dance to children and organized dancing in the streets of San Francisco.
She developed deep ties and lifetime friendships in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lived for more than 30 years. Carol was a member of the dance community first in San Francisco and later in Berkeley, performing and teaching adults and children.
Later, after moving across the country to Martha’s Vineyard, she returned each summer to teach workshops in creative body alignment, also known as Ideokinesis, which she had studied in depth. She added her inimitable humor, fun, and poetry, along with her deep knowledge of the body, to this important work. She returned regularly to Berkeley Moving Arts until 2018.
She moved to the Vineyard in 1995, driving across the country with her sister, Martha Mezger. To be accurate, Martha drove and Carol slept. But she kept a journal of their travels. When she settled in, Carol quickly became involved in much of the Island’s varied music scene, teaching piano, taking dance classes, accompanying the Minnesingers and students in the Island-wide string classes and recitals.
She was an early member of Island Community Chorus, as well as singing in Vintage Voices.
During street fairs in Tisbury, Carol was one of the troubadours.
Friends and family from on- and off-Island gathered at the home she shared with Martha and Dick to celebrate his birthday. Carol played piano and Martha sang, a memorable event!
She served as church musician at the Unitarian Universalist Society, the Christian Science Reading Room, and Chilmark Community Church.
She built a washtub bass, which she played with Princess Pupuli’s ukulele band. For the past 26 years she was a featured soloist as well as a part of the Woman Within dancers in Built on Stilts, a summer program which included performers of all ages, both locals and invited groups from as far away as New York City. The week before she moved to Canton to be near Martha and Dick, the crew and talented technician at Stilts developed a tribute to Carol’s performances, including many of her wonderful dances.The video was featured at the Friday performance at Union Chapel; Carol was there.
Carol Loud was definitely one of a kind. Many local musicians presented programs at Windemere, the assisted living and nursing center. When Carol went there, she distributed instruments and percussion items to the patients, and they became part of the performance. On one occasion, she enlisted help in carrying her patients, wheelchairs and all, up onto the stage at the Tabernacle so they could be part of a fundraiser.
Carol was predeceased by her parents and brother. She is survived by her sister Martha and brother-in-law Richard Mezger; nieces and nephews Tony Glazier, Gayle Touchstone, Steven Glazier, and Gwen Tiabi; six great-nieces and -nephews; and her beloved Chihuahua, Charlie, as well as her many, many friends in many places.
She once said she needed to live on the Vineyard because people here continued to dance even as they grew older. And so she did. She was much loved for her talents, which she shared generously, and her great joy in living.
Carol’s dance is complete. Nothing can be added; nothing can be taken away.
Arrangements are in the care of Dockray & Thomas of Canton. A memorial service will be held at a later date.