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Meredith Willson

Born: 1902. Died: 1984. Lived in: United States

Meredith Willson - musician, playwright and composer - was best known for the book, words, and music for The Music Man (1962). He wrote two other musical plays, including The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). Many of his songs are standards, including "You and I", "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You", "It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas", "Seventy-six Trombones", and "Till There Was You", which was a surprising song choice for a hit record by The Beatles. Willson left Mason City, the setting for "The Music Man", in 1919 to attend Damrosch Institute (now Juilliard) in New York. He played flute and piccolo in John Philip Sousa's band from 1921 to 1923 and then joined the New York Philharmonic Orchestra from 1924 to 1929. In 1930 he got a job in radio in California. Radio was his primary source of income over the following twenty-five years. He also composed several orchestral works during the '30s and '40s, including symphonies for The Great Dictator (1940) and The Little Foxes (1941). In 1951 the stage producers Martin and Feuer proposed that Willson write a musical comedy about his Iowa boyhood. With his common touch, they said, it was sure to be a hit. After seven years, he finally got what turned out to be his masterpiece onto the stage. "The Music Man", which Willson said was "an Iowan's attempt to pay tribute to his home state", premiered on Broadway in 1957. Robert Preston recreated his most famous role and Willson's most famous character, that of Professor Harold Hill, in the film production of The Music Man (1962).

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Arrangements | Trax CDs

Trax Recordings

Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.


Ed Lojeski : Seventy Six Trombones : Showtrax CD : 073999211924 : 08621192

Ed Lojeski : Seventy Six Trombones

Meredith Willson's The Music Man is the hottest ticket on Broadway! This arrangement for concert choirs captures all the excitement of the stage and in addition to the classic melodies, you can even imitate the sound of the marching band instruments with your singers!Available separately: SATB, SAB and 2-Part. Performance Time: Approx. 3:55.

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2617p | Showtrax CD | $26.95 | With Piano


Mac Huff : Music Man, The (Choral Highlights) : Showtrax CD : 888680661342 : 00211504

Mac Huff : Music Man, The (Choral Highlights)

This 4-minute mini-medley of songs from Meredith Willson's wonderful Broadway classic is a natural for younger choirs! Includes: Gary, Indiana; Seventy Six Trombones; The Wells Fargo Wagon.

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5474p | Showtrax CD | $39.95


Mark Hayes : It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas : Showtrax CD : 884088476267 : 35027129

Mark Hayes : It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

Meredith Willson's famous song is wonderfully arranged for choirs by Mark Hayes and has a terrific piano accompaniment, as well as optional orchestral parts. The introduction is captivating and paints the magic of the holidays while the heart of the song ends with a big and broad finish. A NEW choral classic for all ages! Available separately: SATB, SAB, 2-part, Digital Orchestration, StudioTrax CD. Duration: ca. 3:20.

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4027p | Showtrax CD | $26.95


Roger Emerson : The Wells Fargo Wagon : Showtrax CD : 073999663853 : 08551696

Roger Emerson : The Wells Fargo Wagon

Roger Emerson's Discovery Broadway arrangement of this Meredith Willson showstopper captures all the excitement of the Broadway stage. An excellent showcase for your developing ensembles.Available separately: SATB, SAB and ShowTrax CD. Performance Time: Approx. 2:15.

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2596p | Showtrax CD | $22.95 | With Piano

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