Bachelor of Music,
Double Bass/Composition '81
Hartt Alumni Award 2014
The Hartt School is pleased to announce that Ed Alton, BMus ’81 will be honored with the 2014 Hartt Alumni Award at the annual Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18, 2014. The award honors an alumnus who has achieved professional and critical recognition of distinguished professional accomplishments as an artist, scholar, or educator in an area of the performing arts.
Mr. Alton has sustained an impressive career in the Los Angeles TV, film and recording industries for nearly thirty years. To date, he has composed scores for over 530 episodes of 31 different prime time network TV series and performed as bassist on over 70 feature film soundtracks. His career has been distinguished by numerous accolades including five ASCAP Top TV Composer Awards, an Emmy Nomination, and several Gold & Platinum record awards.
In 2006, when My Boys premiered on TBS, Daily Variety’s review singled-out the music score, “My Boys dresses up its high-carb mentality with all the requisite trappings, from Ed Alton's bluesy score to the deftly interwoven Windy City exteriors and sets.” In 1998, Mr. Alton’s song performed by Bernadette Peters on the CBS series The Closer was recognized with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music & Lyrics.
In 1997, Daily Variety recognized Mr. Alton as one of TV’s top theme composers when it listed him as #5 among Nielsen’s Top 90’s TV Themesters. His Single Guy theme was included on the popular Greatest TV Themes of the 90’s CD.
Some of Mr. Alton’s more prominent TV compositions include the scores for the 1980’s hit series Head of the Class, the top-ten rated series Suddenly Susan, and The Single Guy, both of which ran during the peak of NBC’s successful Thursday night “Must See TV” reign. Recent well-known series have included My Boys on TBS and Whitney on NBC. His music is augmented by his multi-instrumental skills, since he personally plays many of the instruments used on his own soundtracks.
Mr. Alton’s celebrated work in the recording industry includes arranging and conducting on the Britney Spears multi Platinum CD In the Zone, and performances on the Gold Record-winning albums Flying Cowboys by Rikki Lee Jones as well as the soundtrack to the film The Breakfast Club.
Mr. Alton has written scores for three musicals for the stage. A Night at the Nutcracker, published by Samuel French, recently had several nationwide performances including at Cabrillo Stage and Racine Theater Guild.
As a studio musician, Mr. Alton performed bass on the soundtracks of such popular films as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Beverly Hills Cop 2, Ghost Busters 2, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, City Slickers, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. He has also performed and toured internationally with The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
In addition to music, Mr. Alton’s passion for drawing keeps him busy on several of his own personal art projects.
Mr. Alton is a West Hartford, CT native and graduated from Hartt with Bachelor’s Degrees in both Music and Composition in 1981. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.