A CD release/signing party is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17, for “Friends Play Fisher Tull,” a new compact disc release on Albany Records. The event will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at Hastings Records and Books.
The new disc features seven of Tull’s compositions spotlighting the piano in various combinations with other instruments. It was recorded in January and March 1999, at the Moores Opera House at the University of Houston.
The seven pieces span almost 30 years of Tull’s career as teacher and composer, and all were written while he lived and taught in Huntsville. Many of the performers on the disc were associated with him at Sam Houston State.
Charlotte Tull, wife of the composer, is the featured pianist on the recording, and will attend the party.
Other performers include trumpeter Randal Adams, flutist Ann Fairbanks, violinist/violist James Gardner, oboist Spring Hill, clarinetist Randall Luster, bassoonist Juliet Markovich, trumpeter Anthony Piog, saxophonist Donald Theode, trombonist David Waters, violist Lawrence Wheeler, and percussionist Tim Tull, son of the composer, who conducts the “Nonet,” the first offering on the recording.
“The significance of the title, ‘Friends Play Fisher Tull,’ should be readily apparent after reading the player biographies,” wrote Charlotte Tull, in the disc notes.
“Each performer has had personal contact with the composer at some time in their career and, in many cases, worked on these same pieces under his supervision. It is with great devotion and respect that they dedicate these performances to their friend, Fisher ‘Mickey’ Tull.”
Music critic Carl Cunningham wrote of Tull in the notes that “he had the warm, honest smile and open-hearted character that bespeak the treasured friendship for which true Texans are known.”
Tull was born in Waco and earned his undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in music from the University of North Texas. He was a faculty member at Sam Houston State University for 37 years, from 1957 until his death in August 1994.
He was chairman of the music department for 17 years, was named distinguished professor of music, and received the prestigious Piper Professor Award in 1984 in recognition of his excellence as a teacher. He received many awards for his compositions, which are played throughout the world.
The compact disc recording project was supported in part by the Huntsville Arts Commission.