Going Beyond Words and ACDA Radio/ChoralNet invites you to another In Memoriam broadcast as we salute one of America’s most revered and adored conductors, director, arranger, and teacher. Listen to hear why he was appreciated so much by so many other musicians. Robert Romeo DeCormier, Jr., an arranger for folk and pop stars died on November 7, 2017, at the age of 95. He arranged music for many singers and groups, including Harry Belafonte and Peter, Paul, and Mary. It all started at Juilliard School of Music. He and his wife, Louise DeCormier, collected and recorded folksong from the Catskill Mountains of New York and arranged the music in the Weavers Songbook. The Robert DeCormier Singers made a large amount of recordings, most of which focused on the folk genre although he did step away from that from time to time to make several Christmas Discs. On this broadcast you will hear music by John Dowland, a selection from a special disc that focused on the poetry of Robert Burns. He took the time to leave a legacy of music of early America on such recordings as “Listen to the Mocking Bird,” “Oh! You Beautiful Doll,” and “The Man on the Flying Trapeze.” He encouraged other groups to record such at the New York Vocal Arts Ensemble with Raymond Beegle directing. Later in his career he founded Counterpoint Records and presented several composers such as Leonard Bernstein, Louis Moyse, Paul Alan Levi, and Mario Tedesco. This gave Robert DeCormier the emphasis to record music of diverse cultures and with an emphasis on rarely performed works unique to the public. He also did some arranging for people like Cisco Houston and Paul Robeson. During this time he met Harry Belafonte who was a soloist in the Jewish Young Folks Choir. Belafonte ended up offering DeCormier a job. After Belafonte’s second CD he joined him as a regular.
For a look at the CD’s used and a complete list of the music heard, go to the blog of WWW.GONGBEYONDWORDS.COM website and click on show 2438B