BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The Coast Chorale has been performing for 25 years, but this holiday season, the group will be without a dedicated member who helped make the chorale a Coast institution.
It is a concert series to celebrate the holidays with a long-time musical group on the Coast.
On this day, the music may sound the same as in holidays past. This year, it feels different because Floyd Landry isn't here.
"It was so quick, it just devastated us," said chorale artistic director Allen Henson. "There's been a pall, kind of, over the chorale."
Landry died in September of a bacterial infection.
"It happened so suddenly," Henson said. "He was with us one day and four or five days later, he was gone."
Landry, who was a musician since he was young, was preparing to perform in Sunday's concert at Christ Episcopal in Bay St. Louis. Now Henson is dedicating the concert series in Landry's memory.
"He's the kind of guy...he would want us to keep doing what we're doing, no matter what."
Rebecca Wyers has been a member of the chorale for 24 years.
"We all miss him very much," she said. "And, we're going to be singing this with him in mind."
Member R.J. Pierce knew Landry well.
"He always had a smile," Pierce said. "He always looked for the best of everybody. He's left a big hole. It's hard for us because we turn to look at him, and he's not there."
Landry had been a member of the chorale for years, along with his wife, Deana.
"My deepest thanks to the chorale," she said. "This is such an honor for him and he would have absolutely loved it."
It took a lot of strength for her to attend the concert.
"Floyd would want this," she said. "He would love this. He would be right in the middle of it if was here."
Added Henson, "Floyd always wanted to hear a really good blend. And we have that."
The concert series continues for four performances in December:
Dec. 1: 5:30 p.m., Christmas carols, Waveland City Hall.
Dec. 2: 7 p.m., joint concert with Hancock County High School Band, Hancock Performing Arts Center
Dec. 8, 7 p.m., Main Street United Methodist Church, Bay St. Louis
Dec. 9, 5 p.m., caroling around Old Town Bay St. Louis.
All concerts are free.