profile on Fisher Tull - composer
Fisher Tull was born September 24, 1934 in Waco, Texas and
died in Huntsville, Texas on August 23, 1994. Upon graduation
from Waco High School in 1952 he enrolled at The University of
North Texas where he subsequently earned the degrees Bachelor
of Music in Music Education (1956), Master of Music in Music Theory
and Trumpet Performance (1957), and Doctor of Philosophy in Music
Composition (1965). His principal composition teacher was
Samuel Adler. In 1993, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus
by the UNT College of Music.
He joined the music faculty at Sam Houston State University in 1957, serving as Chair of the Department of Music from 1965 to 1982. As an administrator, he held several offices in the Texas Association of Music Schools and was a member of the Board of Directors and the Commission on Undergraduate Standards of the National Association of Schools of Music. He was cited for excellence in teaching by being named a Piper Professor in 1984. At his death, Dr. Tull held the rank of Distinguished Professor and served as Director of Graduate Studies in Music.
His compositional activities emerged from his background as a trumpet performer and jazz arranger in the early 1950's. During his collegiate years he wrote over 100 arrangements for dance bands, radio and television productions and recordings, and was the first staff arranger for the renowned UNT Lab Bands. His first serious compositions were for brass ensembles followed by several works for symphonic band, one of which, Toccata, was the winner of the 1970 American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Award. The majority of his works have been published by Boosey & Hawkes and Southern Music Co.. Over the past two decades he has appeared as guest composer-conductor-lecturer on campuses and festivals throughout the United States and Germany. In 1991, he was cited as Texas Composer of the Year by the Texas Music Teachers Association.
Fisher Tull received awards in composition from the Texas Composers Guild, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the Friends of Harvey Gaul, Artists Advisory Council of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Willamette Arts Festival, National Flute Association, and the Arthur Fraser Memorial. He was granted the Distinguished Men of Music medal by Kappa Kappa Psi, and the Orpheus Award from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Commissions for new compositions have been received from the National Endowment for the Arts, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Ballet, Houston Music Guild, International Trumpet Guild, Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma, the Sinfonia Foundation, International Trumpet Guild, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, Tubists United Brotherhood Association, U.S. Army Band, U.S. Air Force Band, Doc Severinsen, Steve Houghton, and numerous universities. He has received six SHSU Faculty Research Grants for composition.
Some of the works of Dr. Tull have been recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Brass, Millar Brass Ensemble, Los Angeles Brass Society, Tidewater Brass Quintet, Würzburger Percussion Quartet, Anthony Plog, Dale Underwood, Doc Severinsen, Terry Everson, Allen Vizzutti, and numerous university ensembles including eleven wind ensemble works on two LP recordings by the Sam Houston State University Wind Ensemble conducted by Ralph Mills.
Fisher Tull is buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin Texas.
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