Maury Laws | wisconsinacademy.org
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Maury Laws

Wisconsin Academy Fellow Induction Year: 2011
Composer
Area of Expertise:

Orchestras, ensembles and vocalists throughout Wisconsin and the world have benefited from the musical compositions and arrangements of Maury Laws. Laws began playing the guitar and singing country music in his native North Carolina at the age of twelve, and by age sixteen was a featured soloist with local dance bands and jazz groups. After returning from service in World War II, Laws toured with the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra and appeared with vocal groups on the Perry Como, Arthur Godfrey, Milton Berle and Ed Sullivan shows.

Laws is perhaps best known for his original soundtrack work on animated films and television specials beloved by children the world over, including the stop-motion classics Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1965) and Frosty the Snowman (1969), as well as the Rankin/Bass productions of The Hobbit (1977) and Wind in the Willows (1982).

Many famous artists, including Fred Astaire, Danny Kaye, Angela Lansbury, Burl Ives, Danny Thomas, Art Carney, Judy Collins, John Houston, and Ethel Merman, can be counted among those who have performed his work, and Laws has also composed music for Off-Broadway theater as well as European and American orchestras alike.

In Wisconsin, Laws brings his professional knowledge to extraordinary collaborations with UW-Oshkosh, Lawrence University, and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra as well as other regional orchestras. In 2004 he crafted music for The Legend of Lambeau Field, a documentary chronicling the life of the historic football stadium, and in 2006 Laws (along with Fred Sturm) composed The Baseball Music Project, an orchestral concert series dedicated to celebrating the National Baseball Hall of Fame through the great lineage of baseball music.

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