February 2, 2008


RACINE, WISCONSIN. Jelani Eddington will participate in several concerts this season commemorating the centennial anniversary of noted American composer Leroy Anderson (1908-1975).

Leroy Anderson, composer of well-known orchestral light music such as Sleigh Ride, Blue Tango, The Typewriter, and Bugler’s Holiday, enjoyed a lengthy and distinguished career as a composer, working extensively with conductor Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Anderson’s compositions are known and loved throughout the world and are being celebrated with numerous commemorative concerts during this centennial year.

On February 10th, Jelani will perform an all-Anderson program on the Barton theatre pipe organ at the Grand Ledge Opera House in Grand Ledge (Lansing), Michigan. On May 18th, Jelani will perform a similar program on the Marr & Colton theatre organ at the Thomaston Opera House in Thomaston (near Hartford), Connecticut. For both of these performances, Jelani will be joined by the 2007 Young Theatre Organist Competition winner, Donnie Rankin, who will perform various percussion effects for many of Anderson’s compositions.

On February 15-16, Jelani will be the guest pianist for the Tulsa Signature Symphony in two performances of Leroy Anderson’s Piano Concerto in C Major. The symphony, under the direction of Dr. Barry Epperly, will perform the Oklahoma premieres of this concerto.

In 2006, Jelani Eddington released a two-volume commemorative recording of the nearly-complete works of Leroy Anderson, including two world-premiere recordings of compositions Anderson wrote specifically for the organ. Those two albums, Blue Tango (vol. 1) and Sleigh Ride (vol. 2) contain a total of 50 Leroy Anderson compositions. Many of Anderson’s Christmas compositions can be found on Jelani’s 2007 recording, A Festival Of Christmas.