Eugene Anderson's Biography
Born in Milwaukee in 1944, Eugene Anderson graduated with honors from Brookfield Central High School, winning three summer music-camp scholarships before going on to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1968. At UW, he studied orchestration with James Christensen, who later became Director of Music at Disneyland in California.
He also arranged America's first tuba quartets for use on the annual UW Concert Band tour each January in 1962-66 at the request of Professor Raymond Dvorak. After graduation as the winner of the Faulhaber Award, given to the senior most likely to succeed in music, Mr. Anderson accepted his first teaching position at the University of Toledo as a member of the Toledo Brass Quintet, besides teaching duties. He also performed with the Toledo Symphony, Toledo Opera Orchestra, and the Toledo Symphony Brass Quintet. While in Ohio, Eugene studied with famed tubist Arnold Jacobs of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 44 years. He composed and dedicated his Tuba Concerto No.1 in Bm to him as a thank you. (See REVIEWS section for more information.)
Mr. Anderson then was accepted on a teaching fellowship at Arizona State University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with his Masters of Music in composition. During this period, he wrote 'The Perception of War' symphonic tone poem and his 'Symphony No. 1' for full orchestra, as well as more small brass ensemble pieces and a 'Nocturne for Flute and Piano.' He studied 20th Century harmony with Dr. Grant Fletcher and Professor Ronald LoPresti who said upon hearing the first performance of The Perception of War, "I wish I had written that !"
His next position was as band director for Apache Junction High School, where the band went from ten to eighty members in four years, culminating in winning a national award for arranging the Libby's Theme song for marching band, winning a $500 prize. The next major acomplishment was to attempt winning the coveted Nunamaker Award from the University of Arizona, Tucson, for the best marching band show of the competition. His Prospector marching band did exactly that, and out of 100 bands in competition that day they did win the Nunamaker Award, with his show featuring two more of his original arrangements.
At the high school, his acting credits included a role in The Music Man, Cabaret, and The King and I. He also acted in the lead role of Christ in the Last Supper Drama for five years. To date, Mr. Anderson has over 150 compositions and arrangements for brass ensembles, solos, band, orchestra, choral music, including gospel quartets, handbell choir, teaching aids, method books, and music for the theater (see THE WAGER and reviews). He composed two commissioned works that were recorded on his first commercial CD from d'Note records of California and sold worldwide. They included Mr. Jacobs' tuba concerto and 'The Perception of War,' The virtuoso Sam Pilafian was the featured soloist on all three of the works except Perception of War.
The album PERCEPTION was entered in the 1998 Grammy Awards in 4 classical categories (see CDs and REVIEWS section). The CD is now only available from AAO Music since Mr. Anderson decided to purchase the remaining d'Note copies, many of which are autographed by Sam and the composer (a rare collectible; see CDs section). Mr. Jacobs was so impressed with the concerto that he signed the only endorsement letter he would ever produce in his life just before passing away three months later (see REVIEWS section).
Cimarron Music Press has now published the concerto with piano reduction and the composer has the full score (written with the CSO in mind) and parts available for rent . Reviewer and composer Barton Cummings, in his 1991 review, wrote "for this reviewer will state in the strongest terms available, that Concerto No.1 in Bm is a masterwork of the first order and that it deserves to become known, performed and recorded then engraved and published" (see reviews). Please visit Cimarron Press Music to see the 61 pieces published so far.
After the cd came out over 54 000 copies were sold worldwide. In 1998 a famous tuba player, Harvey Phillips, wrote Mr. Anderson a letter congratulating him and asking him for more, by saying "Encore". Harvey Phillips' wish for an encore has now come true. Tuba Concerto No. 2 has just been published and even more surprising Tuba Concerto No. 3 is also now published. These three concertos fulfill the composer's intent to compose 3 concertos for tuba and orchestra each in a different musical style. Tuba Concerto No. 1, at 36 minutes in length, is in the Romantic style. Tuba Concerto No. 2 is in Contemporary style and Concerto No. 3 is in Jazz style. Each of the new ones is 11-12 minutes long which will aid programming tremendously. This life-time goal is now complete. A second life-time goal is now complete as well. Three solo pieces for tuba are now also published in the Lyri-Tech series. Lyri-Tech I was on the origional cd for solo tuba alone, and recorded, but now two new pieces have been added , Jazzy-Tech II , with optional ad lib brushes, and Rock'n Tech III, with required full drum set.
Mr. Anderson's diverse background has now led him to write for the musical stage, culminating in his first dramatic musical, THE WAGER, the first musical or opera ever written that was inspired by the classic story of Job. The show took nine years to write and compose and made its World Premiere at the gorgeous 1400-seat Ikeda Theater in the new Mesa Arts Center with six performances between Feb. 17-19, 2007, in Mesa, Arizona with a 30-piece orchestra, full cast, and dance troupe. It was then filmed and edited for the creation of a professional DVD. Mr. Anderson wishes to write 2 more dramatic musicals in the future entitled "SAUL" and "Grandpa's Greatest Gift".
He has been married to his very supportive wife of 50 years, Jeannie, and they have four adopted children who have provided them with 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren to date. Mr. Anderson was recently remarried to Sharon Mongan and lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona.