Ethan Neuburg ’79 was recently profiled in El Sentinel, a South Florida publication, as an interesting resident of Coral Springs. Neuburg graduated from Hobart College with a degree in music and has gone on to a successful career as an arranger/composer and bass player.
Currently special editor of music songbooks at Alfred Music Publishing, Neuburg “has arranged the songbooks of many musical greats including John Williams, Dave Brubeck, Burt Bacharach and Madonna. He is also the editor of George and Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter musical folios, and special liaison to their estates.”
He has also composed music for a wide array of projects, including audio books for Random House, Harper and Simon & Schuster; a PBS show and an Ang Lee film.
The full article about Neuburg’s unique career follows. It is written by his wife Comi Zervalis Neuburg, a member of the William Smith Class of ’79.
El Sentinel (South Florida)
Springs Composer Wears Many Musical Hats
Comi Zervalis Neuburg • Special to the Forum • Jan 1, 2009
Editor’s note: Each week, Comi Zervalis Neuburg interviews the most interesting residents of Coral Springs. This week, she keeps it close to home by introducing you to another of your neighbors, her musically inclined husband.
Arranger / composer and bass player Ethan Neuburg is special editor of music songbooks at Alfred Music Publishing, formerly Warner Brothers Music Publications.
Neuburg has arranged the songbooks of many musical greats including John Williams, Dave Brubeck, Burt Bacharach and Madonna. He is also the editor of George and Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter musical folios, and special liaison to their estates. “Alfred Publishing is always looking for new ways to bring the music of classic composers to new audiences,” Neuburg said.
Neuburg has also composed music for many diverse projects including hundreds of audio books for Random House, Harper and Simon & Schuster; Gilda Radner’s Grammy-award winning audio autobiography; the PBS show “FREEDOM: A History of US; Ang Lee’s film, “Pushing Hands;” and the Broadway play “Beyond Glory.” Neuburg also contributed to sound design for the Academy award-winning animated short film, “Bunny.”
“Every composing project has its own unique theme and style,” said Neuburg. “Sometimes the hard part is knowing exactly what the director or producer wants.” As a freelance bass player, Neuburg has performed at various venues in New York City including The Blue Note, Small’s Paradise, and The Village Gate.
He is the band leader for a local musical ensemble that specializes in jazz, Brazilian and standard repertoire. The ensemble performs at private parties, charity fundraisers, and many other venues in South Florida, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk Sunday Jazz program.
Neuburg’s teenage son Nick, who is a two-time winner of the first chair position for the Florida High School All-State Jazz Band, is the percussionist for the ensemble. “It’s great working with my son and he is the only musician that I can order around,” Neuburg said.
Neuburg is also an active volunteer in the Fine Arts Department of the North Broward Preparatory Schools located in Coral Springs and Coconut Creek.
What advice do you have for students wishing to pursue a career in music?
The field of music is very diverse. Be open to many things.
What do you see as the future of the music business?
I think we, Americans, are just now beginning to discover the music of many other cultures. I think pop music in the future will incorporate influences from many lands.
In terms of the future on how music will be delivered, whether via CD, MP3 or streaming audio, who knows?
What were some of the most colorful experiences you have had during your career?
Early in my career, I had to fly to Detroit to work on a songbook with Bob Seger and we were snowed in for an entire weekend together at his house.
Many of the really truly great musicians are terrific people and very helpful, and a pleasure to work with.
Tell us about your educational background and who have been your mentors?
I have a B.A. in Music from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New
York. I moved to New York City to study arranging with the great Don Sebesky. It was soon after this, that I became employed by Warner Brothers Music as an arranger. I also studied briefly with Jaco Pastorius, considered the world’s best bass player.
E-mail Ethan Neuburg at email@example.com.
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