Calvin M. Taylor

1948 -

Calvin Taylor has performed thousands of concerts as a keyboard artist in over a dozen countries and 48 states in the U.S. during his career. A prolific composer, he has written several published works and earned numerous recording, video, and film scoring credits.

Calvin was born in Los Angeles, California. From his earliest years he was involved in music, playing the piano in all the key signatures by age five and serving as organist in southern California churches by age fourteen. He also became a skilled performer on trumpet, playing in both the Los Angeles Junior Philharmonic and Southwest Youth Symphony orchestras.

After graduating from Lynwood Academy with honors at age seventeen, he received a scholarship for study at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he completed a degree in 1970. His senior recital became historic when he became the first organist in the 180 years of the school to improvise an encore, an eleven-minute extemporization on O du fröhliche, Weinachtzeit!

He continued his study in music at the University of Michigan on full scholarship, completing an M.Mus. in 1974, having studied organ with Marilyn Mason and composition with Leslie Bassett. While at the UM, Taylor auditioned for a music position at the Voice of Prophecy. In his role as soloist and accompanist, he traveled extensively with the VOP musicians until 1977.

He then pursued a concert career, doing studio arranging, and taking additional study in composition and arranging at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Dick Grove School of Music. While at DGSM in the early 1980's, he had opportunity to study with Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, David Raskin, Peter Matz, and Dick Grove. He received a diploma from DGSM in 1982.

Taylor subsequently completed a D.M.A. in music composition at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. His dissertation was Sunrise Symphony, a work with five movements titled Processional for the Human Spirit, Inner-city Sunrise, Sonnet of Praise, An Epistle for Pharaoh, and Choral Fantasia on Deep River. The symphony and two of the movements, Inner-city Sunrise and Choral Fantasia on Deep River, have been performed by orchestras in subsequent years.

He was winner of the Unisys African American Composers Residency and National Symposium in 1998, a program affiliated with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This honor included a reading and recording of Inner-city Sunrise by the orchestra under the direction of Kay George Roberts.

Taylor has received numerous awards, scholarships, and prizes, the earliest being a Bank of America Award in 1966. He received a scholarship to attend Oberlin, the Horace H. Rackham Graduate Scholarship at UM, and additional awards at the University of Kentucky. While at UM, he was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, national music honor society and at UK, was awarded the Commonwealth Incentive Award,1996-1999; Lymon T. Johnson Fellowship, 1997-1998; and William C. Parker Academic Achievement Award, 1998-99.

Taylor’s music has been performed by the Kristiansand, Redlands, Inglewood, Central Kentucky Youth, Shreveport, University of Kentucky, U.C.L.A. Philharmonia, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, South Arkansas, and Nashville Symphony orchestras. More recently, the Sunrise Symphony was recorded by the Salt Lake Symphony Orchestra and Utah Voices.


Sources: Biography and other information at the Calvin Taylor website:; The North American Informant, November/December 1966, 6; California Birth Index, U.S. Public Records,

Music by Calvin M. Taylor


Perfect Peace

Nine four-part hymns, ready for congregational singing. More details at website



I'm Hungry, Lord

Resurrection Road

Perfect Peace

Away in a Manger

Sing Noel

Choral Fantasia on Deep River


Spirituals for Worship

Grand Spirituals Collection for Piano

Spirituals for Piano

The Patriotic Piano


Five Spirituals for Organ

Spiritual Suite for Organ

Organ Extraordinaire CD

Sonnet of Praise for Organ Duet


Sunrise Symphony




Available at

All are Master Disc Records


Music for the Journey MD 8362   piano

Perfect Peace . . . Living Water   MD8425   piano

Organ Extraordinaire MD8413

Spirituals for Piano MD8410

Early Seek the Savior MD8433   piano

The Patriotic Piano MD8418

Treasury of Hymns MD8428   piano

A Garden of Praise MD8417 piano

Sunrise Symphony MD2427   orchestra and chorus

Resurrection Road MD8440    Calvin Taylor, singer with orchestra

Album of Immortal Hymns MD8432   piano