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Leroy Anderson

From Wind Repertory Project
Leroy Anderson


Leroy Anderson was born on June 29, 1908 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Swedish immigrants. He attended Harvard University where he received Bachelor's and Master's of Art degrees in music and eventually attained a PhD in German and Scandinavian languages. His composition teachers included Georges Enseco and Walter Piston. While in school he tutored music at Ratcliffe College and was director of the Harvard University Band. After hearing Anderson's arrangements for band, Arthur Fiedler asked him to do an arrangement of Harvard songs for the Boston Pops Orchestra. this eventually led to the orchestra performing original works by Anderson. He served in the United States Army during World War II as an interpreter for the Counter Intelligence Corps and rose to the positions of Chief of the Scandinavian Department of Military Intelligence. After the war, Anderson moved to Connecticut and composed some of his most succesful works, including Sleigh Ride (1948). His The Syncopated Clock (1945) was used as the theme show for The Late Show for 25 years and his album Blue Tango sold over a million copies in 1952. As his compositions grew in popularity, Anderson conducted more with orchestras across the United States. He died from cancer on May 18, 1975 and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the next year.

Works for Winds


  • Coleman, Ronald O. "Irish Suite." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 568-581. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.
  • Leroy Anderson website
  • PBS Website