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Clare E. Grundman

This year we honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of America’s most prolific composer and arrangers Clare Grundman. It is sad to note that very little has been written about him despite the fact that nearly every band musician in America and Canada has had the privilege of playing his wonderful compositions and band libraries across North America are filled with his magnificent music for band.

He was born on May 11, 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio. In his adolescent years, Clare participated in the Shaw High School Band in East Cleveland where he played clarinet. Following his high school graduation, Clare pursued his interest of science at The Ohio State University where he completed his bachelor of science in education degree in 1934.

While in his undergrad at Ohio State University, Clare continued playing clarinet, while also learning the saxophone. He gained experience performed in an orchestra performing on trans-Atlantic passenger ships such as the French Line SS Normandie.. He soon became an instrumental music teacher where he taught for three years in Ohio and Lexington, KY. Preceding his music teacher status, Grundman returned to Ohio State University to pursue his new interest of the arts and earned his master of the arts in 1939.and studied with Paul Hindemith. Grundman became the assistant director of bands at Ohio State University and taught both orchestration and woodwinds. Three years later, World War II began and Grundman served his country as chief musician in the US Coast Guard band leaving his position at Ohio State as assistant director of bands in 1941. After the war he concentrated on composition and received many awards for his efforts in radio, television, motion pictures, ballet and Broadway. Grundman’s hard work and participation in many ensembles led him to be honored by each of the primary professional band organizations including The American Bandmasters Association, awarding him the Edwin Franko Memorial Citation, the American School Band Directors Association presenting Grundman with the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service Award, The John Philip Sousa Foundation awarding the Diploma of the Sudler Order of Merit and a highly respected honorary member of the Women Band Director National Association, currently known as Women Band Directors International in 1974. Not ten years later, Grundman was awarded one of the most prestigious awards, given by the National Band Association, the AWAPA (Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts). Last but certainly not the least; Clare Grundman was elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association in 1985. Grundman was an intelligent musician whose passion for music drove him to compose both original and arranged works for several ensembles including symphony orchestra, Broadway musicals, ballet, radio, television, motion pictures and concert bands. Clare Grundman is one of the most influential composers of band and wind ensemble repertoire, with works dating from the 1940s. As a skilled orchestrator and gifted composer, he took a special interest in creating music for school ensembles, and remains one of the most performed band composers today. This collection spans more than four decades of his creative output and includes Kentucky 1800, An Irish Rhapsody, Concord, Little Suite for Band, Fantasy on American Sailing Songs, Hebrides Suite, American Folk Rhapsody No. 1, American Folk Rhapsody No. 2, Little English Suite, The Blue and the Gray and Two Moods.

Clare died on June 15, 1996 at the age of 83. And last resided in South Salem, New York in Westchester County New York. Clare Grundman will be remembered for his success in composing works for bands of all development levels. In addition to his enormous works for band he was a major Broadway musician and orchestrator with following shows:

Drat! The Cat!
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
Music orchestrated by Clare Grundman
Oct 10, 1965 – Oct 16, 1965

Show Girl
[Musical, Revue, Comedy, Original]
Additional orchestrations by Clare Grundman
Jan 12, 1961 – Apr 08, 1961

Joyce Grenfell Requests the Pleasure…
[Musical, Revue, Original]
Additional orchestrations by Clare Grundman
Oct 10, 1955 – Dec 03, 1955

Phoenix ’55
[Musical, Revue, Original]
Music orchestrated by Clare Grundman

Two’s Company
[Musical, Revue, Original]
Music orchestrated by Clare Grundman
Dec 15, 1952 – Mar 08, 1953

Lend an Ear
[Musical, Revue, Original]
Music orchestrated by Clare Grundman
Dec 16, 1948 – Jan 21, 1950

You can hear Grundman’s march “Concord” on From Fife and Drum.


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3 comments. Leave a Reply

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  2. Pingback: Capital Region Wind Ensemble Celebrates 20th Anniversary Seasom | Hudson Sounds

  3. Pingback: Kentucky 1800 – Grundman | musi3500

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