On the Field at LSU (ca Early 1960s)
|Birth name||Thomas Norman Tyrakowski|
|Born||April 17, 1933|
Cicero, Illinois, USA
|Died||July 7, 1995 62) (aged|
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
|Occupation(s)||Music educator, Bandmaster, Composer, Arranger, Lyricist|
|Years active||1953 – 1989|
Thomas Tyra (born Thomas Norman Tyrakowski) (April 17, 1933 - July 7, 1995) was an American composer, arranger, bandmaster, and music educator.
A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.
A bandmaster is the leader and conductor of a band, usually a concert band, military band, brass band or a marching band.
Born and raised in Cicero, Illinois, Tyra was the only child of first-generation Polish-American parents who were employed by Western Electric's nearby Hawthorne Works. He graduated from Morton High School in Cicero (Diploma 1951), Northwestern University (BSM 1954, GBSM 1955, Music Education/Composition) and the United States Navy School of Music (1956) where he would refine his composition and arranging skills while fulfilling his military service obligations. In 1971, Tyra earned his Ph.D in Music Education from the University of Michigan under the auspices of Allen Britton, Emil Holz, and long-time Director of Bands, William Revelli.
Cicero is a suburb of Chicago and an incorporated town in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 83,891 at the 2010 census. As of 2013, the town had a total population of 84,103, making it the 11th largest municipality in Illinois. The town of Cicero is named after Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman statesman and orator.
Western Electric Company was an American electrical engineering and manufacturing company that served as the primary supplier to AT&T from 1881 to 1996, and to the local Bell Operating Companies until 1984. The company was responsible for many technological innovations and seminal developments in industrial management. It also served as the purchasing agent for the member companies of the Bell System.
The Hawthorne Works was a large factory complex of the Western Electric Company in Cicero, Illinois. Named after the original name of the town, Hawthorne, it opened in 1905 and operated until 1983. At its peak of operations, Hawthorne employed 45,000 workers, producing large quantities of telephone equipment, but also a wide variety of consumer products.
Following graduation from Northwestern in 1955, Tyra began his career as a high school band director in Des Moines, Iowa. The following year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was ordered to Washington, DC, where he fulfilled his military service obligations as a staff arranger and rehearsal conductor at the Navy School of Music. Upon his honorable discharge in late 1957 - followed by a brief teaching assignment at Morton Junior College in his hometown of Cicero - Tyra joined the Louisiana State University faculty in the Fall of 1958, serving as an assistant to the Director of Bands L. Bruce Jones. In 1959, LSU elevated Tyra to the position of 14th Bandmaster of the Tiger Marching Band, making him - at age 26 - the nation's youngest director of a major university marching band.That same year, Tyra created the LSU Ballet Corps Dance Line, launching what would become the LSU Golden Girls in 1965.
Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small part of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines, which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857. It is on and named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the early French name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". The city's population was 216,853 as of the 2018 population estimate. The five-county metropolitan area is ranked 89th in terms of population in the United States with 655,409 residents according to the 2018 estimate by the United States Census Bureau, and is the largest metropolitan area fully located within the state. A portion of the larger Omaha, Nebraska metropolitan area extends into three counties of southwest Iowa.
Louisiana State University is a public research university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The university was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy. The current LSU main campus was dedicated in 1926, consists of more than 250 buildings constructed in the style of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, and the main campus historic district occupies a 650-acre (2.6 km²) plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River.
A Director of Bands is the head figure of a marching or concert form of bands, a person who leads a musical ensemble. The Director, by history and tradition, must know all the concepts of music and must be able to teach all different kinds of instrumental musicians in order to make a performance at a certain dateline before the scheduled performance.
Satisfying the constant demand for new musical content on the LSU gridiron was a small cadre of young aspiring student composers and arrangers which included Bill Conti,who would later gain first fame by penning Gonna Fly Now , the theme song popularized by the 1976 hit film Rocky . During his tenure, Tyra introduced Hey, Fightin' Tigers , an adaptation of Hey, Look Me Over from the 1960 musical Wildcat! by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh. This team spirit song - later adopted by the LSU Golden Girls as their introductory theme - continues to be used at LSU athletic events today.
William Conti is an American composer and conductor best known for his film scores, including Rocky, Karate Kid, For Your Eyes Only, Dynasty, and The Right Stuff, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Score. He also received nominations in the Best Original Song category for "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky and for the title song of For Your Eyes Only. He was the musical director at the Academy Awards a record nineteen times.
"Gonna Fly Now", also known as "Theme from Rocky", is the theme song from the movie Rocky, composed by Bill Conti with lyrics by Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins, and performed by DeEtta West and Nelson Pigford. Released in February 1977 with the movie Rocky, the song became part of American popular culture after main character Rocky Balboa as part of his daily training regimen runs up the 72 stone steps leading to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia and raises his arms in a victory pose, while the song plays. The song was written in Philadelphia. The song is often played at sporting events, especially in Philadelphia.
Rocky is a 1976 American boxing sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated, but kind-hearted working class Italian-American boxer, working as a debt collector for a loan shark in the slums of Philadelphia. Rocky, a small-time club fighter, gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. The film also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian's brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the reigning champion, Apollo Creed.
In 1964, Tyra was appointed Director of Bands at Eastern Michigan University. In 1968, a young Max Plank joined the EMU Bands Program as Tyra's assistant. Together they forged a lifelong collaboration and friendship that would result in significant growth of the EMU's band program and its traditions. In 2002, Plank passed the leadership mantle to Scott Boerma, ending an era that spanned over 38 years of EMU Band history.After leaving EMU in 1977 and until 1985, Tyra headed the Department of Music at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, strengthening its Music Education curriculum and planting the seeds of growth for its instrumental performance programs, including marching band. From 1985 until his retirement in 1989, he served as Professor and Dean of the Crane School of Music at SUNY-Potsdam.
Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is a public research university in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School. Today, the university is governed by an eight-member Board of Regents whose members are appointed by the governor of Michigan for eight-year terms. The school belongs to the Mid-American Conference and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Since 1991 EMU athletes have been known as "Eagles" and the school mascot, Swoop, was officially adopted by the university three years later.
The Eastern Michigan University Marching Band serves as Eastern Michigan University's marching band.
Scott Boerma is a composer of contemporary classical music, an arranger of music for marching ensembles, and the Director of Bands at Western Michigan University.
He also held appointments as Director of the Ann Arbor Civic Band(late 1960s to 1977) and guest Clinician at the Ontario Youth Music Camp in Beaverton, Ontario, Canada (1970–73).
Beaverton is a community in Brock Township in the Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario, Canada.
Tyra was a member of the Iota Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Northwestern University, the Kappa Kappa Psi/Tau Beta Sigma band service organizationand served as ΚΚΨ's National President from 1973 to 1975. He was also a member of ASCAP and the American Federation of Musicians.
Tyra wrote numerous original compositions, arrangements, and lyrics for works performed by wind ensembles, marching bands, military bands, and brass ensembles of all levels.
For beginning bands, Tyra wrote a series of compositions that he (whimsically) titled Wholey Hymn, Modal March, Pentatonic Polka, Quartal Caper, and Polytonal Parade. Compositions and arrangements for intermediate bands include Two 17th Century Italian Songs and arrangements of Handel's The Messiah (Part I)and "I'd Do Anything" from the Lionel Bart musical Oliver!. His Two Gaelic Folk Songs (1964) - an arrangement of the two Irish patriotic tunes Molly Malone and Wearing of the Green in the 20th-century classical music idiom - remains in the standard repertoire for many intermediate band programs. A third Gaelic tune, The Minstrel Boy , was also arranged by Tyra and originally intended to round out this collection. Never published, it is now part of the Music Department archives at Eastern Michigan University.
For more skilled ensembles, he penned many arrangements of pre-game and half-time music for the Northwestern, LSU and EMU Marching Bands, including nationally televised works performed by the Tiger Marching Band when LSU competed post-season at the Sugar Bowl (1959, 1960), the Orange Bowl (1962), the Cotton Bowl Classic (1963) and the Bluebonnet Bowl (1964). on YouTube. These compositions - integral to modern EMU band tradition - reflect the expertise he developed in writing for low brass voices while serving at the U.S. Navy School of Music.His original compositions include Suite for Brass and Timpani, Three Christmas Miniatures, Ceremonial Sketch and Intravention. For Eastern Michigan University, Tyra composed Eastern Variants, the music and lyrics for Go Green!, The Pride of the Peninsula, Huron War Cry, EMU Fanfare and the break strain for the Huron (now Eagle)
As part of Northwestern University's early 1950s efforts to revitalize its school hymn (Quaecumque Sunt Vera), then Director-of-Bands John Paynter,recruited Tyra - at the time an undergraduate music major, trumpet player and staff assistant for the Wildcat Band - to craft English words to replace the hymn's traditional Latin verse. The earliest known recorded performance of their resulting collaboration - renamed Alma Mater (University Hymn) - was made on October 3, 1953 by the Northwestern Glee Club.
Paynter's instrumental/a cappella musical arrangement and Tyra's lyrics (. . . Hail to Purple, Hail to White, Hail to thee Northwestern . . . .) remain an integral part of Northwestern University tradition today, typically played by the Wildcat Band at the completion of their halftime performances and at Northwestern graduation ceremonies. See the Wildcat Band performing the on YouTube.
Tyra was married four times. In 1955, he married Suzanne Jocelyn Sheldon (Northwestern BSM 1955, b.1933 d.1973) of Chico, California. Their union produced his six - and only children. After divorcing in 1972, Suzanne "Sue" Tyra died in December 1973.In May 1976, he married Valerie Suzanne Franklin (Eastern Michigan University BBA 1971) of Brooklyn, Michigan. They divorced in December 1980. In 1981, Tyra married Judith Ann Hastings Carpenter (b.1942, d.1987) of Pittsburg, Kansas, who preceded him in death.
Tyra's granddaughter, Emily Tyra,is an established television and Broadway actor. She played Mia Bialy in Flesh and Bone, a Golden Globe-nominated miniseries which premiered on the Starz! Network in November 2015. In July 2016, she joined the second-season cast of Code Black, portraying Dr. Noa Kean.
Following his 1989 retirement from the Crane School of Music, Tyra relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where he would spend his remaining years living nearby his daughters and their families. He died on July 7, 1995 of complications arising from leukemia. During his long illness, he liked to tell his doctors that he would put up a good fight, but it was their job to find a cure in time.
Dave Douglas is a jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator. His career includes more than fifty recordings as a leader and more than 500 published compositions. His ensembles include the Dave Douglas Quintet; Sound Prints, a quintet co-led with saxophonist Joe Lovano; Uplift, a sextet with bassist Bill Laswell; Present Joys with pianist Uri Caine and Andrew Cyrille; High Risk, an electronic ensemble with Shigeto, Jonathan Aaron, and Ian Chang; and Engage, a sextet with Jeff Parker, Tomeka Reid, Anna Webber, Nick Dunston, and Kate Gentile.
In U.S. and Canadian sports, a fight song is a song associated with a team. In both professional and amateur sports, fight songs are a popular way for fans to cheer for their team, and are also laden with history; in singing a fight song, fans feel part of a large, time-honored tradition. Although the term "fight song" is primarily used in the United States, the use of fight songs is commonplace around the world, but they may also be referred to as team anthems, team songs or games songs in other countries, even such as Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. Fight songs differ from stadium anthems, used for similar purposes, in that they are usually written specifically for the purposes of the team, whereas stadium anthems are not.
Theodore Nicholas Sflotsos, known professionally as Ted Nichols, is an American composer, conductor, arranger, educator, and minister of music.
Robert "Bob" Longfield is an American composer, arranger, conductor and educator, best known for his compositions for Concert Band and String Orchestra. He is currently the Music Director of the Greater Miami Symphonic Band.
The Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, or Bienen School of Music, is an undergraduate and graduate institution devoted to musical performance and academics. Located on Northwestern University's campus in Evanston, Illinois, 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, the school was known as the Northwestern University School of Music from 1895 to 2008. In September 2008, the school was named to honor retiring University president Henry Bienen and his wife, Leigh Buchanan Bienen.
The Northwestern Wildcats football team, representing Northwestern University, is an NCAA Division I college football team and member of the Big Ten Conference, with evidence of organization in 1876. The mascot is the Wildcat, a term coined by a Chicago Tribune reporter in 1924, after reporting on a football game where the players appeared as "a wall of purple wildcats". Northwestern achieved an all-time high rank of No. 1 during the 1936 and 1962 seasons, then plummeted to extended levels of futility from the mid-1970s to 1994. Recently, under Pat Fitzgerald's leadership, the Wildcats have become a well-rounded team capable of competing with top teams across the country.
The Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band (NUMB) is the marching band at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The ensemble performs at all home football games and periodically makes appearances at events in the greater Chicagoland area. The band also performs at any postseason football games and one "away trip" per season.
The "Go U Northwestern", originally titled "Go Northwestern Go", is one of the fight songs of Northwestern University. It was written in 1912 by Theodore Van Etten, a member of the Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band at the time. It debuted November 23, 1912, at old Northwestern Field in Northwestern's football season-finale versus the Illinois Fighting Illini.
The Kansas State University Marching Band, also known as "The Pride of Wildcat Land" or just The Pride, is a 400+ piece marching band consisting of woodwinds, brass, percussion, color guard, dancers, and twirlers. It is the official band of Kansas State University.
Jeff Genyk is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the special teams coordinator for Northwestern. Genyk served as the head football coach at Eastern Michigan University from 2004 to 2008, compiling a record of 16–42 in five seasons. He was a television analyst for Atlantic Coast Conference football for ESPN during the 2009 season.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles, formerly known as the Normalites, are the athletic teams for Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States. The Eagles compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level as members of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The only exception is the women's rowing program, which is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. Altogether, the Eagles have won three NCAA Division II national championships and 13 NAIA Division I national championships in five different sports ; moreover, EMU has been NCAA Division I national runner-up twice. In 1940, the men's cross country team finished second to Indiana University at the national meet hosted by Michigan State University.
Christopher Anderson was the Director of Bands, Director of Instrumental Music Education, and an Associate Professor of Music at Arkansas Tech University. Prior to his appointment at Arkansas Tech, he was the Associate Director of Bands, Director of Athletic Bands, and an Associate Professor of Music at Texas Tech University. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Abilene Christian University under Fred J. Allen, a Master of Music in Conducting from Northwestern University under John P. Paynter, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from University of Texas under Professor Jerry Junkin. Dr. Anderson served as the director of the Goin' Band from Raiderland, the Court Jesters and the Symphonic Band from 2003-2011. He taught music education courses and was a member of the Graduate Faculty at Texas Tech. In addition to his teaching duties, he continues to do a great deal of arranging for college marching bands, competitive high school bands and previously for the Goin' Band. He has also done arrangements for jazz ensemble, concert band, and saxophone quartet.
The Louisiana State University Tiger Marching Band is the marching band of Louisiana State University (LSU). The 325-member band performs at all LSU football home games, all bowl games, and some away games.
Frederick I. Sturm was a jazz composer, arranger, and teacher.
Louisiana State University School of Music is a music school located on the northwestern side of the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. The school is part of LSU's College of Music & Dramatic Arts, which also includes the LSU School of Theater. The college includes over 100 faculty and staff, over 600 majors, and offers wide range of degrees and curricular concentrations.
Harry L. Alford was an American arranger and composer of band marches.
The Northshore Concert Band (NCB) is a 100-member concert band based in Evanston, Illinois which performs throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.
Joseph Willcox Jenkins was an American composer, professor of music, and musician. During his military service in the Korean War, he became the first arranger for the United States Army Chorus. He ended his teaching career as Professor Emeritus at the Mary Pappert School of Music, Duquesne University, where he had been a professor since 1961, and composed over 200 works.
Thomas Tyra at Find a Grave