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Leland Forsblad

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Leland Forsblad

Biography

Leland Forsblad (17 August 1920, Kingsburg, Calif. – 3 August 2006, Fresno, Calif.) was a composer, performer, and music educator. (Some sources list birth in 1920 and death in 2004.)

Mr. Forsblad played accordion as a youth, followed by clarinet, saxophone, most other woodwinds and piano. He was an early performer and winner on the old Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour radio show. Forsblad studied at California State University, Fresno, (Bachelor of Arts, 1946) before entering World War II.

Forsblad served as a combat pilot in World War II, and was a POW for two years, (He was captured and sent to Stalag Luft 3. He was known as POW 1743, and would spend 22 months as a POW before allied forces liberated the camps.) writing music for the Stalag band, chorus, and orchestra. Her recalled that, “The ranking American colonel told me that I would not be one of the personnel to attempt an escape due to the fact I was a professional musician and was part of the ‘moral boosters’ for the camp."

Upon his return to the states, he began his graduate work in composition at the University of Southern California while working in radio and motion pictures as an instrumentalist and composer. He studied with Ingolf Dahl, Ernst Kanitz, Halsey Stevens, and Miklós Rózsa.

Mr. Forsblad taught choral music in the Fresno schools for nearly 30 years and has hundreds of published works for chorus, band, and orchestra. He also wrote under the pseudonym Rick Oliver.


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