Calvin M. Taylor
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: calvintaylormusic.org; The North American Informant, November/December 1966, 6; California Birth Index, U.S. Public Records, Ancestory.com.
Music by Calvin M. Taylor
Nine four-part hymns, ready for congregational singing. More details at website
Available at calvintaylormusic.org
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