to go to
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Past, Present,
Chapter 3: The Twelve
Songs of Christmas
Chapter 4: Standing on Many
5: Showtime at Five O'Clock
6: Chicago Off-Off-Off Broadway
7: San Francisco Off-Off-Off Broadway
8: Palm Springs Off-Off-Off Broadway
9: With a Song in My Heart
10: Index of Performers and Songs
A piano accompanist
I love accompanying.
As a pianist, my goal is to help other performers sound as good as
they can. During a performance, I'm continually imagining ways in
which the work of the singers and instrumentalists can be
I play attention to their pitches and rhythms, their tempos and
dynamics, their coloring effects and emotional feelings - and
adjust accordingly. I strive to anticipate the needs of the
performers and be there for them.
Sometimes I relax and let them take the lead; other times I push
them ahead into the next phrase. Sometimes I play every note on
the page exactly as written; other times I improvise a melody or
chord, or change an octave, or imitate an orchestral instrument on
the piano, in order to magnify the performance.
Ever since being a first grader, playing the piano while my
classmates were singing "Happy Birthday," I have experimented with
ways to make music more interesting and more accessible. And thus
I became . . .
A music arranger
I love arranging.
It involves getting to know not only a specific musical work but
also a specific performer. How did the original composers envision
the work? How have arrangers and performers changed the work
throughout the years? What singers and instrumentalists will be
performing the work? What are their performance concepts for the
work, their musical strengths and weaknesses, their quirks which
might be concealed or amplified?
I think of myself as a pop music arranger. There are many of us in
the music business. We take a well-known tune, often from what is
now known as "The Great American Songbook," and rejuvenate it for
a new group of singers and instrumentalists.
Honoring a long-revered tradition of echoing music from previous
eras, we feel free to "borrow" from works created by earlier
composers, including ourselves. Hopefully the words and music are
still recognizable, and even more hopefully some new creative
ideas emerge that make for unique performing and listening
A lifetime of arranging can lead to unexpected occasions. For
instance, who would have imagined back in 1965, when I first
arranged "With a Song in My Heart" for the boys at New Trier High
School in Illinois, that fifty years later I'd be reprising the
same arrangement for the adults in California Desert Chorale?
Please sit back:
Enjoy vintage recordings of some of the music I've arranged and
accompanied over the years, along with many timely anecdotes and
photos. The recordings are organized into chapters 2-9 listed on
the left side of this screen. You can read and listen to all
chapters in order from 1-9 (just like a book, you can spread them
out over several days). Or you can click these chapters in any
order and enjoy them at your leisure.
attraction: I've also included, as chapter 10,
a comprehensive index of all performers and music on this website.
If you wish to find a specific person or work, just click the
relevant link in chapter 10, and you'll be taken immediately to
the corresponding chapter and section. To return to the previous
screen, click the back key on your browser.
A note to
performers and directors: It has been my great
pleasure to accompany and arrange music for you over the years.
Thank you for singing with me!
These works are my
musical memoirs: They truly reflect my ongoing wish
that "...I would live life through, With a song in my heart for
"official portrait," 2015