This weekend marks the 8oth birthday of my friend and colleague Maestro John Williams. I don’t know anyone who has not been touched by John’s music. His prolific work output has resulted in his earning 47 Academy Award nominations, second only to Walt Disney.
What most people don’t know about John is that his father was an accomplished drummer and his two brothers are both top tier studio percussionists (maybe that’s why his percussion writing is so challenging). In addition, in his early years John was a renowned West Coast jazz pianist.
Everyone knows John’s blockbuster hits created during his collaboration with Steven Spielberg. But check out some of John’s earlier work in films like “The Cowboys” and “The Reivers”. It makes me wonder how one person can be so prolific, yet create distinctly different sonic landscapes for each movie. Amazing!
Let’s all raise a drumstick into the air and toast, “Thanks John for bringing such richness to the musical fabric of our lives!”
Neil W. Grover holds the unique distinction of having performed with one of the world’s foremost orchestras, the Boston Symphony; with legendary rock bands like Aerosmith; and on John Williams’ soundtrack for Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom. For the past 28 years, Neil has gained worldwide visibility in the percussion section of the famed Boston Pops. Neil is one of the music industry’s most requested clinicians. Neil is the author of Four Mallet Primer, and also co-author (with Garwood Whaley) of Triangle, Tambourine and Cymbal Technique, both published by Merideth Music. Neil has had numerous articles published in leading music journals including, Percussive Notes, School Band & Orchestra, and Drum Tracks. In addition, he has been the subject of feature articles in Percussive Notes, Modern Drummer, School Band & Orchestra, Drum Tracks, and Musical Merchandise Review. As the Founder and President of Grover Pro Percussion, Neil Grover has been the world’s leading exponent of raising the standards of percussion instrument design and manufacturing. He has recently been featured on two episodes of “How It’s Made”, which airs worldwide on the Discovery Channel. Neil Grover has been elected to six terms of office and has served on the Board of Directors of the Percussive Arts Society for 12 years. He is also a Trustee of the Winchester (Massachusetts) Community Music School, one of the country’s premier community music schools.