o u r n o t e s + y o u r s o u n d
Take a load off, sit a spell, and learn about what makes Random Notes the right place to get your next arrangement or have your audio tracks edited.
While you're here, take a look at some of the folks for whom I've worked in the past.
Originally from Aitkin, Minnesota, I attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on a jazz piano scholarship and played in the school’s renowned (if unimaginatively named) Jazz Ensemble I when it was awarded the Downbeat Magazine Award for Best College Big Band for the fifth time in seven years. I graduated in 2002 with a degree in music composition and at least a working knowledge of how properly to spell Schönberg.
The more notable component of my college years, though, was my time as the inaugural music director of UWEC a cappella group Fifth Element. During my time in 5E, we released two CDs and competed in three ICCAs, upsetting reigning Midwest champs Straight No Chaser to advance to national semis in our first full year of existence. In addition to being honored for Best Arrangement, I became the first person ever to win multiple Hot Lips Awards for Best Vocal Percussion, as well as the first person to win multiple Judges’ Awards for Best Original Song (an honor I reprised at the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes).
Before and after Fifth Element, I had the good fortune to be a member of two very talented professional a cappella groups. My brief tenure in Minneapolis-based Four Shadow was notable primarily for the identity of the gentleman who replaced me, the ridiculously gifted Jon McLemore (later of McLemore Brothers and Streetcorner Symphony). I was later a member of Boston pop vocal powerhouse Ball in the House, leaving just prior to the arrival of a brilliant young tenor named Peter Hollens.
When Peter left BitH to return to the University of Oregon and the group he co-founded, On the Rocks, he asked me to arrange a song that he wanted to sing for his final semester with the group. That song, “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister, was nominated for a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for Song of the Year, putting both Peter’s golden pipes and my arranging on the map. The rest, to coin a phrase, is history.
In a nutshell, I'm the guy you go to when your a cappella group, choral ensemble (show or otherwise), jazz group, or miscellaneous band of merry revelers needs an arrangement that will make people say:
“Fantastic, energetic, and nuanced arrangements …. by arranger extraordinaire and altogether amazing musical genius of all time and my hero of America, Tom Anderson, who is responsible for some of the most compelling a cappella arrangements that were ever created, ever.”
~Christopher Diaz, co-host of Mouth Off and
CASA Director of Public Relations
2 (Eclectic Boogaloo)
8 (Too Cubed)
(Best of College A Cappella):
2009, 2011, 2013
2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012
Contemporary A Cappella:
Accidentals (University of Georgia)
Awaken A Cappella (UCLA)
Divisi (University of Oregon)
The Duke's Men (Yale University)
The Innocent Men (UW-Eau Claire)
Last Call (Cornell University)
Mixed Company (Stanford)
On the Rocks (Univ. of Oregon)
Outspoken (Oregon State Univ.)
Peter Hollens (Eugene, Oregon)
PLUtonic (Pacific Lutheran Univ.)
The Swingle Singers (London, UK)
"My hat goes off to the best arranger of college a cappella songs that I have ever come across."
~ Josh Klatz, On the Rocks
"Tom's arrangements are so
sick they won't let you donate
blood after singing one!"
~ Kenneth Lowe, Outspoken
~ Mike Schubert, Last Call