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Hal Leonard


His repertoire endures as a cornerstone of "pops" concerts.


The music of Leroy Anderson is firmly entrenched in American popular culture. Anderson was a composer of distinctive orchestral miniatures. Some have said he created a unique form of music. He described his music as “concert music with a pop quality.” His best-known work is undoubtedly Sleigh Ride, but also well- known are The Syncopated Clock (theme for CBS New York's The Late Show for over 25 years), The Typewriter, and Blue Tango. Mitchell Parish added lyrics to seven of his popular pieces; Belle of the Ball, Blue Tango, Forgotten Dreams, Serenata, Sleigh Ride, The Syncopated Clock and The Waltzing Cat. Alfred published in 2008 the “Leroy Anderson Songbook” that also includes songs from his 1958 musical “Goldilocks.”

Born on June 29, 1908, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Swedish immigrants, Leroy grew up in a musical family. His father, who worked for the U.S. Postal service, played both mandolin and banjo, while his mother, who was a church organist, gave Leroy his first piano lessons. He received his B.A (magna cum laude) and M.A. in music from Harvard University, studying with composers Walter Piston and Georges Enesco. In the '30's he was active in the Boston area as an organist, conductor, arranger and double bass and tuba player. In 1931 he became director of the Harvard Band. His arrangements for the band caught the attention of the manager of the Boston Symphony who asked him to make a symphonic setting of Harvard songs and to conduct it at the Boston Pops’ “Harvard Night.”. Arthur Fiedler, music director of the Pops, was impressed with Anderson's work and encouraged him to write original…

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Discography Highlights

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