Richard DeRosa

Office: Music Building 339 | Phone: (940) 565-4655 | Email:

About Richard DeRosa

Mr. DeRosa received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition for "Neil" in 2015. Recorded by the One O'Clock Lab Band on Lab 2015, "Neil" was written for his friend and mentor, Neil Slater, who directed the ensemble from 1981-2008 and served as UNT's jazz department chair during that period.

Since 2012 Mr. DeRosa has composed and arranged music for the prestigious WDR (West Deutsche Rundfunk) Jazz Band in Cologne, Germany and served as the band's chief conductor from 2014 -2016. His various projects with the band have included conducting and arranging for legendary bassist Ron Carter for his CD My Personal Songbook. Other artists for whom DeRosa has arranged and conducted include Kurt Elling, Patti Austin, Joshua Redman, Stefon Harris, Marvin Stamm & Bill Mays, Richie Beirach and Gregor Huebner, Garry Dial and Dick Oatts, and Warren Vaché.

Since 2001 Mr. DeRosa has arranged and conducted music for Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to feature Toots Thielemans, Annie Ross, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, and other notable artists in addition to eight arrangements for the LCJO production of Stephen Sondheim's music in "A Bed and A Chair" that featured Bernadette Peters.

Other commissioned arrangements have been recorded by the Mel Lewis, Gerry Mulligan, and Glenn Miller big bands, vocalist Susannah McCorkle, rising trumpet star Dominick Farinacci on his CD Lovers, Tales, and Dances, and acclaimed solo violinist Anne Akiko Meyers on her CD Dreams...Seasons. Mr. DeRosa has also served as co-arranger, orchestrator, and conductor for the critically acclaimed recording projects, Dial & Oatts: Brassworks and When Winter Comes featuring guitarist Fred Fried. Dial & Oatts' most recent CD "That Music Always Round Me" features poems by Walt Whitman set to original music by the two leaders. DeRosa served as the choral arranger and studio conductor.

Mr. DeRosa's arrangements for orchestra have been performed in concert by The Metropole Orchestra (Holland), Swedish Radio and Television Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Pops Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine), and The One O’Clock Lab Band with The Houston Symphony.

Mr. DeRosa’s compositions for television, film, and theater include background music cues for Another World, As the World Turns, The Guiding Light, commercials for Telex, Bristol-Meyers, and Kodak, various documentaries broadcast on PBS, orchestrations for independent films Gray Matters, East Broadway, and Standard Time, and original music scores for the national touring theater company ArtsPower as well as orchestrations for Frankenstein, the Musical.

Earlier in his career, DeRosa toured and recorded with Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer, Susannah McCorkle, Jackie Cain & Roy Kral, Chuck Wayne, and Marlene Ver Planck. Other employed performances with notable musicians include Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Peter Nero, Warren Vaché, Chris Connor, and Larry Elgart.

Mr. DeRosa is a full professor at the University of North Texas where he is the director of jazz composition/arranging studies. His former teaching posts were at William Paterson University, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School where he taught advanced jazz arranging for studio orchestra. He is the author of Concepts for Improvisation: A Comprehensive Guide for Performing and Teaching (Hal Leonard Publications) and Acoustic and MIDI Orchestration for the Contemporary Composer (Focal Press) and remains active as a clinician and an adjudicator for music festivals and workshops.. Mr. DeRosa’s service to teaching was recognized in the 3rd edition (1994) of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. His publications for public school jazz ensembles are available through Alfred Music, Barnhouse Music, Smart Chart Music and e-Jazz Lines and his music for UNT and professional-level bands is available through Sierra Music. Other arrangements for big band, orchestra, and choir are available on his website (

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