Guest Book


Entries from 1998 to 2017 on the subject of
Leroy Anderson, Sleigh Ride, A Christmas Festival, Christmas


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Thanks to those who have submitted entries to the Guestbook page. We appreciate hearing from people who enjoy Leroy Anderson's music.

The Anderson Family


To the Anderson Family,

I too am an Anderson, but alas no relation.  My father was a music lover and always made us kids listen to his favorite music. Richard Rogers's "Victory At Sea", lots of Percy Faith, Montovani and Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops.  Of course the Pops meant Leroy Anderson music.  When I was raising my children, we always watched on Sunday PBS Evening with the Pops.  There my two children learned to love Leroy Anderson's music.  I was just enjoying the music over the internet when I went to your page and here I am. A 73-year old that loves all of Leroy's great music.

Thanks for the memories.

Warner Anderson
Stagecoach, Nevada
Feb. 6, 2017



To the Anderson Family,

Just listened to Mr. Anderson's entire collection again, instantly transported me to a happier world, away from all the cares of today. Thank God for sending him to us !

Best regards,
Steve Gregg
January 4, 2017



Dear Anderson family,

It is truly an honour to play Mr. Anderson's most finest Christmas pieces. Mr. Anderson puts more thought into his music than the average person might think. He is a remarkable man, and he will be missed. That said, I wish the Anderson family a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Ryan Gatien
November 22, 2016



I just finished listening to my late dad's album of Leroy Anderson music performed by the Boston Pops conducted by Arthur Fiedler. This music resounded from our big stereo cabinet when I was a kid and I was overjoyed to be hearing it again. It is also on my phone so I can listen in my car. I'm 61 and have such fond memories of this sound in our bungalow in Minneapolis. What a talented man and what wonderful music he created.

Janet Olson Schultz
Hastings Minnesota
September 13, 2016



Dear Anderson Family

I still hear music in my mind daily, Count Basie, Erroll Gardner, etc. and invariably Leroy's comes as well - always fresh, always fun to listen to, he must be included as one of my favorites.

Mary Crum
August 2, 2016



Greetings to the Anderson Family,

I want you to know that I will continue to listen to Mr. Anderson's music for as long as I live and enjoy it immensely, as I always did.  I am now 67 and retired, and his piece "The Golden Years" seems to apply perfectly to me.  I look back at those younger years of mine with sentimentality and nostalgia.  I cannot help but notice the lack of activity at this site, which I am sure indicates your own aging limitations. I hope someone is able to keep it active for future generations.

Best regards.
Steve Gregg
Hayward, California
July 30, 2016



Dear Anderson Family,

I first heard Leroy Anderson's music on the radio when I was a kid in the 1950's, and I still love it! It just gets better over the years!!

Christine Burn
New Zealand
September 9, 2015




Dear Anderson Archives,

I am 62, and still playing my trombone. It is always a thrill to play "Christmas Festival" and "Sleigh Ride" each December, but my summer concert band plays lesser known Anderson works each year too. I grew up hearing "The Syncopated Clock" in the 50's, and so many more. Your father, grandfather, friend will be remembered and his works played for centuries. His music really is timeless, and for a performer, just fun yet challenging, to play. And audiences never tire of his work. Well done, Mr. Anderson! And thanks to the family for keeping his work alive.

Susan Gessford
Low Brass Instructor
Trombonist in multiple groups
Midland, Michigan USA
July 1, 2015




I just finished digitizing my 1953 edition 45 Set of Leroy Anderson Conducts. As a retired gentleman, I have embarked on the digitization of my LP collection, and I came across my treasured collection of 45s. Approximately 8 songs altogether. When I was about 11 I got this album and played it constantly. It is a miracle it is still playable. My best wishes to the Anderson family, Leroy's music really did brighten my childhood days.

Brian Berenbach
January 19, 2015




Dear Anderson Family,

I couldn't get enough of SLEIGH RIDE this Christmas, having been studying your website for some time, now; and playing my CDs. Every time I heard it and saw the name(s) on Serius XM Radio, I had to acknowledge it. I've just received some of the Christmas CDs, but I gave my family members Harry Connick, Jr's version. There were other versions on the radio, too.

Most importantly, I watched the West Point Christmas Musical Special on TV and the grand finale was, non-other than, Leroy Anderson's SLEIGH RIDE; with the orchestra music and a vocalist joining in with the lyrics.

Your dad is such an important part of our history and culture. You have done wonders to keep his legacy alive. I am sorry to hear of the passing of such a lovely lady, Mrs. Anderson. I'm sure they are together in Heaven.

Devoted . . .
Vicki Disch
St. Louis, Missouri
December 29, 2014




Capital City Band of Tallahassee has played Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride almost every year for the past 35 years. But I am still excited about having it on the program for our upcoming holiday concerts. Why? Because this time I get to conduct it!

Our director, Chuck Perego, asks the band's two assistant conductors to select one number to conduct on each concert. I picked Sleigh Ride mainly because it is has the same meter and tempo throughout, so I thought it would be easy to rehearse and perform. But then I thought, "Heck, as long as I'm up here, I am going to rehearse it as though we had never played it before."

What I discovered is that while it is relatively simple and fun, there are a lot of good lessons in this piece: lessons about dynamics, articulation, changes in style, special effects, etc. Who knew? Anyway, thanks, again, Leroy, for a great holiday tradition.

Sara Carter Pankaskie
Tallahassee, Florida
November 8, 2013




Dear Anderson family,

Christmas day I had the good fortune of listening to Leroy Anderson's Christmas special on public radio... It was very enjoyable. It brought me back to some of the most wonderful memories of my childhood.

I was talking to my uncle Jim about Leroy Anderson's music and he is also a huge fan. It turns out that Jim played a portion of Bugler's Holiday when he was in high school, to much applause. It's one of his favorite's.

Thank you for making sure this music and the talent of Leroy Anderson is available for all to enjoy!

Whitney Hanson
Vermont U.S.A.
January 1, 2013




This is a message on behalf of the Crane family who used to be next door neighbors to the Andersons in Woodbury. To all of the Andersons who may check in to this website, I bring greetings and best wishes for the Holiday season. Though it has been many years since I lived in Woodbury, each Christmas season I play all of the music that I have of Leroy for family and friends to hear. My work now takes me around the world but the one set of music that always accompanies me and that never fails to bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart, no matter the season or location, is the collected Anderson music. When I do get back to Woodbury to visit my family's final resting place, I always tip my hat to Leroy and Eleanor's marker, which is just "down the road" from my father and mother. Thanks for keeping this site going, and thanks to a man with a musical genius that has touched so many people in such profound ways.

Steve Crane
December 24, 2012




Here it is Christmas, and again as for so many years all the world is enjoying Leroy Anderson's estimable contribution to music of the Christmas season. Today, with the internet, you can go to Youtube and find that in a Christmas concert in Germany of a few years ago, "Sleigh Ride" is the opening number, and the happy and amused faces on the musicians tell how much they enjoy playing such a wonderfully picturesque piece of music.

And few people mention, but hear often, the glorious "A Christmas Festival", to me the most perfect collection of Christmas carols ever put together to make a whole. It expresses the range of feelings one has for the season of joy and anticipation to the serene. What a great arrangement. I never listen to it without being moved. And only Leroy Anderson could make "Jingle Bells" sound absoutely symphonic!

Rose Curran
December 17, 2012




I heard the Suite of Carols conducted by Slatkin for the first time on Christmas Eve on my NPR station, and was completely enchanted. I thought I had never heard the name Leroy Anderson, so I was astonished to realize -- on visiting the website -- that I had been hearing his music all my life. Thanks for the great pleasure Anderson's music has given, and for the website that makes it possible for ignoramuses like me to discover his many delights.

Paula Spilner
Philadelphia Pennslyvania
December 26, 2009




Since 1963 I have enjoyed every rendition of SLEIGH RIDE I could find... As a 21 year old working in the Empire State Building in N.Y.C....I first heard it waiting for my boyfriend in the lobby at Christmas time!!! Leroy Anderson is under appreciated...but not by me! Thanks and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

Gerry Lykins
Ft. Thomas, Kentucky
December 25, 2009




I am in my mid-fifties now, and so most of my Christmas memories as a child, were in the 50's and 60's. I always remember those happy childhood, festive holidays and in particular that exciting and magical piece of orchestral music Sleigh Ride. Unfortunately, it was only until recently that I knew of Leroy Anderson. I salute Leroy Anderson, for his music, which was always a part of my very happy childhood. God Bless You Leroy. Thank you.

Gary C.
December 3, 2009




Wonderful! Just as they used to classify Gershwin as light concert, so too will they come to their senses and welcome Mr. Anderson into the fold of songsters like (dare I say) Schubert and Schumann - haha. Sleigh Ride IS my favorite Christmas song and coming from Michigan I know a sleigh ride when I speak of one. Great, great, great! Thank you.

George
June 30, 2009




Every public school band I was in played some variation of Sleigh Ride. It was the favorite of students and parents at many Christmas Concerts. But it wasn't until my own children began playing the piece that I learned more about Leroy Anderson. I was proud to learn he was an American composer, and surprised by all of the tunes I recognize on your website. Thank you.

BG
Oklahoma
April 26, 2008




I am a music director from Lichfield, England, and have just performed Sleigh Ride and Christmas Festival at the Nether Stowe High School Christmas Concert on December 19th. It is impossible to overestimate the pleasure that these wonderful pieces have given to so many people over the years. Thanks to Leroy and his legacy of joy.

David Thomas
December 22, 2007




Dear Anderson Family,

Growing up with my big brother, Bill Wiley who is a percussionist, gave me an appreciation for all of Leroy Anderson's music. I thank you for that. This time of the year I especially appreciate his music, as I work in an elementary school with a wonderful music teacher who has turned the children on to Sleigh Ride, and instilled a love for the magic. Thank you!

Lynn Fleming
Harwood, Maryland
December 16, 2007




Greetings from the Indiana Wind Symphony. We will play Leroy Anderson works on each of our concerts throughout 2008, and we will begin our celebration with a December 15 Christmas concert that includes Sleigh Ride and A Christmas Festival. We are looking forward to playing many old Leroy Anderson favorites again and to learning several new ones, as well. Best holiday wishes,

Charles Conrad
Music Director, Indiana Wind Symphony
December 12, 2007




I am an elementary music teacher and must tell you how much my children, from the first through the fifth grades, love your music. We talked about how Leroy Anderson used instruments to represent other 'objects' and objects to represent instruments and I wrote samples on the board. As they listened to samples of his music, they quickly identified which written sounds matched. We used hand signs to identify the 'jingle bells', 'horse's feet', and the 'whip' as we listened to "Sleigh Ride" and then followed up with a listening map. The kids loved it and I've been hearing all week where they've heard the song again.

I shared your website with them as I reminded them that one of the wonderful things about being a musician/artist is that your 'art' lives on long after you're gone. I loved the music of Leroy Anderson and have been delighted, as an adult, to learn more about him and have the opportunity to share it with another generation.

Sharon Gilbert
Auburn, WA
December 7, 2007




Dear Family Anderson,

Mr. Todd Fisher will be the Guest Conductor for "Sleigh Ride" during the annual Holiday Pops concert presented by the Akron Symphony tomorrow evening, December 7, 2007. Todd is realizing his dream of conducting a Symphony Orchestra while at the same time supporting our local Symphony. I want to express our appreciation for Mr. Anderson's music - it is giving joy to many people in so many ways.

Most Sincerely,

Ingrid and Joseph Palmiero
Akron, Ohio
December 6, 2007




Dear Leroy Anderson Family,

I finally see a picture of Leroy Anderson and a list of all his wonderful musical accomplishments. I am 72 now, but played many arrangements of his music for 14 years in my High School band and in the Oyster Bay Community band, 1946 to 1960. I looked forward to hearing his "Christmas Festival" and "Sleigh Ride" every Christmas, as they were as much a part of Christmas as der Bingel's "White Christmas" was. And as a musician, it was an absolute joy to play all of his music. I am sure you are as proud of Leroy Anderson as I was through his music. Sincerely,

Matt Sprague
Fort Worth, Texas
May 24, 2007




I just purchased Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" CD. What a joy it is listening to it. During Christmas whenever I would hear Sleigh Ride on the radio I would get goose bumps, as I still do. The whole CD is wonderful. What an incredible, gifted, intelligent human being. It's nice to know that we have the same birthday, June 29th. My hats off to you Mr. Anderson!

Sarah
Lafayette, Colorado
January 12, 2007




I had become very familiar with Leroy Anderson's music as a little girl. I used to watch the Boston Pops Orchestra on television and as an adult played his "Christmas Festival" in bands. Now as a music teacher, I have chosen Mr. Anderson as my "Composer of the Month" for December 2006. Today's students definitely need to learn about composers such as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. But they also need to get acquainted with American composers such as Mr. Anderson. After all, everyone knows "Sleigh Ride!"

Star Ehrhardt
Appleton, Wisconsin
December 12, 2006




I love the music of Leroy Anderson & I especially enjoy the arrangement known as The Christmas Festival -- weaving the music of others into a glorious fabric -- every year an important part of our Christmas celebration.

Dr. Ralph H. Johnson, FRSC
Professor Emeritus
Department of Philosophy
University of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario, CANADA
December 8, 2006




I have such wonderful memories of many Christmas seasons spent in the corner of my parents' living room with my ear pressed up against the side of the Magnavox console stereo listening to the stack of vinyl records... eagerly anticipating the Boston Pops album and "Sleigh Ride." God forbid that my mother should ever play the other side of the album! I still get giddy every time I hear it - and I must confess a preference for the original instrumental version, although as a choral director and singer, I am grateful that lyrics exist that give me the opportunity to perform it. Thank you, Mr. Anderson, for such joy!

Unamae Cahill
Dublin, Ireland
May 22, 2006




Every time I went to the Disneyland Resort in Paris, I wondered who made the great song that makes us so happy when we hear it. Now my family and I know. I am 35 - my children are 10, 8 and 3 and we all appreciate through his music so much the genius that Mr. Leroy Anderson was. I found two days ago your fantastic website and you can't imagine how much we have felt this emotional feeling melting with joy, smiling and laughing. Many, many thanks. I will make my friends discover the fantastic Leroy Anderson. And I'll even try to play it on my violin. When I listen to "Sleigh Ride", it's like I'm a little girl and all my dreams will be coming true. I am so happy now ! Many thanks again. (Would you like to excuse me if I made mistakes in English...) Congratulations !

Marie-Laure Boinon
Le Sautange
69610 Meys - FRANCE
April 18, 2006




I have loved the music of Leroy Anderson since I was a tiny child, so it amazes me that it took me so long to find out who he was, what kind of a life he lived. I am thrilled to see that I have never had a Christmas without Sleigh Ride! I was an infant when he wrote it, and it's one of the first pieces of music I remember hearing.

Amy Stuart
Palm Desert, California
December 25, 2005




I began listening to Leroy Anderson's music when I was 13 or 14, and for quite a while I claimed him as my favorite composer. I've since moved on to "heavier" classics, but Anderson has always occupied a special place in my heart. He taught me how to listen to an orchestra, and his melodies have been unforgettable. I still have the old Decca recordings, and Christmas isn't Christmas until I've heard "Sleigh Ride."

Joe Barron
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 23, 2005




Leroy Anderson’s gift of beautiful music is a musical heritage so often taken for granted. There are very few American composers with music more beautiful than his, yet no other composer left more memorable, lasting music than Leroy Anderson. "Sleigh Ride" has to be the best example: it is as though this beautiful, glorious song has been here forever, and Christmas without it would never be the same.

Tom Tyson
December 14, 2005




Thanks for the web site. As a musician I've always loved "Sleigh Ride" for its cleverness, its relative complexity compared to most other music associated with Christmas time, and also the way it seems to evoke the joy of the season so well. I love the way the tune bounces from one key to another in such ingenious ways. However, due to the relative complexity of the tune I was never quite able to play it by ear/memory like I can with most Christmas tunes. So I took it upon myself this Christmas to learn the tune and to learn about the person who wrote it. This site has made it easy and pleasurable for me to do those things. Thanks again.

Jim Schneider
San Jose, CA, USA.
December 26, 2004




Thank you for the Christmas gift of the uplifting musical sounds of Mr. Anderson. I had the pleasure of watching his biography, late on Christmas Eve and awoke today with a lightness of heart. I was born in the same decade as Mr. Anderson's children, thus I experienced Christmas as it was presented commercially via television, radio, records and remember his beautiful and happy music. What a wonderful, inspiration he must have been to his family and friends. He was and still is very much admired for his many talents as well as his impeccable fine character.

Merry Christmas to his family, his memory and may the New Year 2005 bring blessings to all who make this website and Mr. Anderson's music available, after all these years. It will go on for generations and generations to come, perhaps for all time. Sincerely,

Tricia Moss
USA
December 25, 2004




My name is Brooke and my friends and I are doing a report on the song "Sleigh Ride". We have to write about the history of the song and the composer. Thank you for the information and hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.

Brooke Taylor
USA
December 13, 2004




Playing "Sleigh Ride" several times for gigs this Christmas finally made me look up Anderson's biography and enjoy his other works. This is an exemplary site, beautifully designed and informative. Many thanks.

Mack Horton
Professor and Chair
Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures
UC/Berkeley, CA USA
December 12, 2004




One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories was the concert performed by the high school band. Included each year was Leroy Anderson's "A Christmas Festival". I cannot think of Christmas and all things in my youth without Leroy Anderson. I am only sorry I never got to say Thank you to him.

Susan Kraska
December 5, 2004




I can't believe it - "A Christmas Festival" on CD at last. I'm rushing to buy it ! Thank you for giving us this music.

Ernest Dupont
November 30, 2004




Thank you for releasing Mr Anderson's christmas recording!! I purchased 2 of the CD's, one for me, and one for my parents...and although Christmas is still over a month away, we couldn't help but listen to the music immediately !! What wonderful memories !!!!

P.S. (The Walmart site that was offering the CD ran out of stock very quickly...it would seem that many housholds celebrated the Holidays with Mr Anderson's music !!!) Thanks again, and Merry Christmas !!! Best regards,

Eric Arnold
November 12, 2004




Sleigh Ride and Christmas Festival are two of my most favorite pieces of Christmas music. As a trumpet player, I find Leroy Anderson's compositions as wonderful to play as well as to hear. Excellent site. Thank you !

Laurence Bouchard
Kingston, Ontario Canada
December 13, 2000




I am an orchestra director at Eden Jr/Sr High School and have performed Leory Anderson favorites with my school orchestras over the years. This year we will perform "Sleigh Ride", the "Suite of Carols for Strings" and the "Christmas Festival". I am so glad I found this site so that I can gather information for my students. What a wonderful man!

Merry Jeffers
Orchard Park, New York USA
November 24, 2000




I am doing a project on Leroy Anderson and honestly I had never even heard of him. Then when I first came to the sight I heard a familiar song,"Sleigh Ride". You're site is cool. Thanks for the info!!!!!

Katt
Massachusetts
November 04, 2000




I've been looking for a midi recording of "Sleigh Ride" forever. My girlfriend loves this peice. I just finished a concert where we played "A Christmas Festival."

Shane Micheal Olson
Maple Ridge, Canada
December 26, 1999




I only recently discovered that so many songs that I remember from my youth (Sleigh Ride, Blue Tango, Syncopated Clock) were all composed by Leroy Anderson. I would love to know where I can purchase a cd of Christmas songs composed by this great artist (and any other cds available). At the age of 50, I have become a huge fan and look forward to sharing Mr. Andersons music with friends and family.


Paul Morelli
Clinton, CT USA
December 12, 1999




My children, aged 7 and 11 are constantly singing the tune to the latest GAP Clothing tv-advert over here. They think it is a new tune. Ha! But which orchestra is playing Sleigh Ride on the ad?

Andrew Hewkin
Shropshire, UK
December 12, 1999




This is a very nice page and it has a lot of useful information. I play trumpet in my schools Wind Ensamble (Honors Band), and we are playing Sleigh Ride in our upcoming winter concert. It is a fun piece to play because it is very lively and energetic.

Brian
Coventry, CT USA
November 29, 1999




I was just wondering where I might be able to find a copy of the CD or cassette of Christmas Carols by Leroy Anderson. My mother had the original album, which was put out by Decca records. Unfortunately the Decca record company no longer exists and we are left wondering where we can get a copy of this on CD or cassette. This was a wonderful album and it helps my Mom and her sister and brother to remember what Christmas was like when they were little. If you could help us out we would greatly appreciate it. Thank You!

Sarah
Manahawkin, NJ USA
November 26, 1999




The christmas season is here and you wouldn't believe how happy I was when the _original_ concert band version of "Sleigh Ride" was put infront of us! I'm glad to be playing it.

D. Eastmond
USA
November 21, 1999




We honor Mr. Anderson's music every year with a great performance of A Christmas Festival. We have also performed some of his other works. A Great Man!!

Larry J. VanMersbergen
Aurora, IL USA
December 10, 1999




Like at least one of your other writers, I've been searching for a CD version of Leroy Anderson's "Christmas Carols" album (white cat on the cover), which includes "A Christmas Festival", the best medley of Christmas carols I've ever heard. My brother and I made tapes from the scratchy vinyl (from endless playings over the years) copy my parents had. Why hasn't Decca figured out that the range of carols - Christian, secular, and international--gives this album real market potential? The arrangements are spectacular, the choices tasteful and engaging, and the entire feel of the album puts it miles ahead of so much of what's being pumped out today to capitalize on the holiday market. Come on, Decca. Wake up and re-release this gem! Thanks for the website and info re: more of Leroy Anderson's work. (I remember "The Syncopated Clock" from childhood but never knew it was his composition!).

Steve Abbott
Columbus, OH USA
December 07, 1998




I just finished reading a nice article in the Columbus Dispatch about Leroy Anderson. I think my first memory of his music was playing The Typewriter in high school band. Congratulations on the 50 year anniversary of Sleigh Ride. We're playing it at our Christmas concert by the Westerville (Ohio)Concert Band. There are four of us in the percussion section, and we'll have fun with Sleigh Ride!

Kathy Samuelson
Columbus, Oh USA
December 07, 1998




The McCullough Junior High Orchestra (two-time Texas state orchestra finalist) will be performing the Applebaum string orchestra arrangement of Sleigh Ride on Thursday, December 3, 1998 at 7:30 P.M. in the Woodlands High School Auditorium. They will also be performing Plink,Plank, Plunk! on Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 7:30 P.M. at the Woodlands High School Auditorium. Robert Beck The Woodlands H.S./McCullough J.H. Orchestra Director

Robert Beck
The Woodlands,, TX USA
December 03, 1998




I learned "Sleigh Ride" as an elementary school student, and was very fortunate to have a music teacher who shared several other Anderson pieces with us. Now I teach elementary school music, and I'm passing along "Sleigh Ride" to another young audience, this time with an Orff approach.

Linda Agnello
USA
November 30, 1998



I have loved the music of Leroy Anderson ever since hearing Sleigh Ride over the radio as a 6 year old growing up in a small paper town in northern Quebec. Later my older sister bought a 78 rpm record of The Syncopated Clock. I couldn't listen to it enough.


Barry Frankham
Nipigon, ON Canada
November 28, 1998




I am delighted that there is a fantastic website for an awesome talent like Leroy Anderson. I certainly was pleased to hear the 50th anniv release of Sleighride. I still have a Boston Pops 45 record with Serenata on the reverse side. When I visit Connecticut I would love to see his notebook of various orchestrations throughout his career. He certainly had some magic melodies in his head.

Merrick Miller
Henderson, NV USA
October 25, 1998




I have a vision of myself at approximately three or four, listening over and over to Sleigh Ride and feeling such joy and freedom; completely experiencing something more than merely listening to a song. This has always been the case with each new Leroy Anderson piece that I discover. Each piece inhabits its own world and draws us into that magical place. Thank you, Mr. Anderson.

Frank Gayton
Topsfield, MA USA
September 03, 1998