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Donald Mulvaney dies; Rockville Centre-born drummer who played in Orchestra Luna was 63

Don Mulvaney, a musician, composer, teacher and social

Don Mulvaney, a musician, composer, teacher and social activist died from injuries sustained in an Aug. 15. 2015 automobile crash that also took the lives of his wife and daughter.

Donald Mulvaney, an eclectic musician from Rockville Centre who played for Tony Bennett, Itzhak Perlman and 1970s rock band Orchestra Luna, has died from injuries sustained in an Aug. 15 automobile crash that also took the lives of his wife and daughter. He was 63.

Mulvaney, of Brooklyn, died Monday at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. His wife, Ledell, 61, and daughter, Katherine, 31, also of Brooklyn, died at the scene of the four-car crash on the Taconic State Parkway in Yorktown. Leona Sinanovic, 2, of the Bronx, a passenger in another vehicle, also died, State Police said.

The crash is under investigation, said Trooper Melissa D. McMorris, a spokeswoman for State Police Troop K.

Devan Mulvaney, 28, of Brooklyn, said his parents and sister used music to help people grow and develop their talents. The Mulvaneys were going home after a production of their musical, "God Show," at Silver Lake Conference Center in Sharon, Connecticut, when the accident happened.

"I think they would want to just be remembered as people who really cared about community, really cared about people, stretching them, helping them stretch themselves to be the best they could be," Devan Mulvaney said. He was not involved in the accident.

Don Mulvaney was born on Feb. 3, 1952, in Rockville Centre. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston and received a master's degree in music composition from the State University of New York's Purchase College in 1993.

Mulvaney played drums for Orchestra Luna, which recorded for Epic Records, and performed with bassist Jaco Pastorius and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. Mulvaney played in the band for the original Broadway production of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," his son said.

Don and Ledell Mulvaney were married Aug. 18, 1979, in Norwalk, Connecticut.

"What they found most joy in was maybe helping the kid who wasn't the greatest singer, but they wanted that kid to come out of their shell more," said Devan Mulvaney, a filmmaker. "They found pleasure in seeing kids grow through music."

In addition to his son, Donald Mulvaney is survived by his brothers, Robert Mulvaney of Boston and Richard Mulvaney of Florida, and Devan Mulvaney's partner, Lucy Westphal of Brooklyn.

A wake will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at Park Slope United Methodist Church in Brooklyn. A memorial service is planned for 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk.

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