Jelani Eddington To Record World Premiere
Of Newly Discovered Leroy Anderson Organ Music
December 2, 2005
RENO, NV — With the special permission and endorsement of the Leroy Anderson estate, Jelani Eddington will record as part of the Leroy Anderson Centennial Celebration discs two previously unpublished and never-before-performed compositions written specifically for the organ by legendary composer Leroy Anderson.
Eleanor Anderson, wife of the late composer, sent the two unpublished hand-written compositions to Jelani in October 2005. A few months before, Jelani had the opportunity to meet Eleanor and discuss the recording project with her. Eleanor enthusiastically welcomed Jelani into the Anderson home and spent several hours with him discussing Leroy’s life, music, and family. Eleanor sent Jelani the manuscripts in a letter dated October 4, 2005, explaining:
My son and I were recently going through two boxes of music manuscripts and odds and ends and found the enclosed sheets….Because Leroy had written ‘Organ’ at the top left I thought I would send it along to you.
The first piece that will be recorded is titled Easter Song and was composed in the style of a liturgical hymn. The composition bears the inscription “Organ” at the top, and is marked “refrain for intro. 3 verses.” The second piece is titled Cambridge Centennial March Of Industry, bearing the date June 13, 1946 and the inscription “for Hammond Organ.” The piece begins with an introduction that calls to mind the sounds of heavy industrial-age machinery, then breaks into a march reminiscent of the style of English composer Eric Coates.
Leroy Anderson, composer of well-known orchestral light music such as Sleigh Ride, Blue Tango, The Typewriter, and Bugler’s Holiday, was himself an organist and reputedly enjoyed the theatre organ. However, Leroy was not thought to have composed any major works for organ, making the discovery and recording of these compositions even more significant.
The Leroy Anderson Centennial Celebration recordings are scheduled to be released on or about February 1, 2006.