The musical career of Gerald Eskelin is multi-faceted, spanning five decades of conducting, singing, composing, writing, and teaching. He has received two Grammy nominations for recordings by the L.A. Jazz Choir, which he founded in 1980. The group has performed and/or recorded with such notables as Rosemary Clooney, Steve Allen, and Al Jarreau.
The Gerald Eskelin Singers have been featured in a number of German television programs, performing there with many well-known artists such as Glen Campbell, Frank Sinatra Jr., Herb Jefferies, and Tex Beneke. They have performed on various recording projects, most recently Amazonia, a work by Bebu Silvetti, dedicated to the preservation of the Rainforest. Additionally, the singers have recorded choral demos for a number of music publishers.
Dr. Eskelin recently retired from his position on the music faculty of Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California. Prior to his thirty-year tenure there, he taught at the University of Southern California and California Institute of the Arts. He has conducted both choral and instrumental ensembles and is equally at home in both classical and popular musical genres.
The Hollywood/Nashville/New York legal community regularly utilizes his expertise in regard to music copyright infringement. He has testified in court on behalf of John Fogerty, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, the Isley Brothers, the Spin Doctors and "Roger Rabbit" composer Allan Sylvestri. He has also provided musicological services for many celebrated musical performers, including Janet Jackson, Madonna, Elton John, Faith Hill, Kid Rock, Green Day, and ZZ Top. Movie studios that have consulted him include DreamWorks, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Universal, Disney and 20th Century Fox. Music publishers who have sought his opinion include EMI, MCA, Fox, Sony, Universal and Warner Chappell. Other entities having requested his services include Macdonald's, Sizzler, Mattel, Dole Foods, Wheaties and the California Lottery.
Eskelin's book Lies My Music Teacher Told Me, now in its fifth printing, is a light-hearted expose of some suspicious concepts that have been unquestioningly handed down from one generation to the next. His more recent book, The Sounds Of Music: Perception And Notation, describes in simple terms how music works and includes recorded illustrations on a CD. Based on the premise that one should understand the sounds of music before learning to write it, the book has been described by one reviewer as having "the capacity to revolutionize the way music fundamentals are taught." Dr. Eskelin's Natural Ear Training is a teaching aid based on the concepts described in Sounds. His latest literary effort is The Components Of Vocal Blend, in which he shares his unique concepts for creating the sounds that earned him an international reputation for choral excellence.
- Doctor of Music Education, 1973, Indiana University. Majors in Conducting and Philosophy/Aesthetics; minors in Conducting and Music Theory.
- Master of Arts, 1962, Indiana University. Major in Music Theory; minor in Philosophy/Aesthetics.
- Bachelor of Arts, 1958, Florida Southern College. Major in Music; minor in English.
- Director, L.A. Jazz Choir, 1980 - 1998.
- Director, Gerald Eskelin Singers, 1984 - 1995.
- Producer/Director, Stage 3 Enterprises Choral Recordings, 1980 - 1988.
- Director, Los Angeles Pops Chorale, 1987.
- Director, Valley Master Chorale, 1980 - 1987.
- Singer, free lance (studio, choral, opera, jingles, other) 1965 - 1990
- Clarinetist/Saxophonist, free lance (classical, commercial)1955 - 1965
- Los Angeles Pierce College, Professor of Music, 1971 2002, Retired.
- University of Southern California, Associate Professor of Music, 1967 - 1971.
- California Institute of the Arts, Instructor In Music, 1966 - 1967.
- Vanguard University, Music Department Chairman, 1963 - 1966.
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION:
- Choral conducting
- Vocal arranging
- Group vocal techniques
- Music theory and composition
- Ear training and sight singing
- Psychology of music
- Grammy nomination, 1984 -- LISTEN
- Grammy nomination, 1986 -- FROM ALL SIDES
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