Scope and arrangement
The Tom Boras scores contain Boras's compositions and arrangements. Most of these are for jazz big band and feature Boras's compositions as well as his arrangements of music by Dave Liebman, Charles Lloyd and Gerry Mulligan, among others. The collection also contains music for chorus, orchestra, concert band, chamber groups, piano, violin, and several pieces with unique instrumentations. In addition, there are songs Boras co-wrote with several lyricists; a musical, Signs and Wonders; music Boras wrote for commercial advertising; and unfinished sketches.
The collection also contains a single open-reel tape with no content listing or other information. Inquiries regarding this item may be directed to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound (firstname.lastname@example.org). Audio materials will be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
The Tom Boras scores are arranged in two series:
This series contains Boras's compositions and arrangements for jazz big band, divided into two sub-series: one for Boras's compositions and the other for his arrangements of the music of other composers. Boras mostly used a standard instrumentation of five saxophones (often replacing the lead alto with soprano), four trumpets, four trombones, and a rhythm section of guitar, piano, bass and drums. Unless noted otherwise, all the charts in this series have a full score and parts.
Apart from big band music, Boras's musical output consisted of a variety of instrumentations and formats. These include pieces for orchestra; concert band; chamber groups; percussion; solo piano; solo violin; eight contrabasses; chorus; a double quartet of woodwinds and brass; and several unique combinations. Notes accompanying each piece in the box and folder list describe its instrumentation. The piece for contrabasses, Stargazing, was commissioned by the International Society of Bassists for their annual convention. Two of the most unusual instrumentations are Trilogy, written for saxophone, electronic keyboard and computer; and Within Every Creature, for mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass/baritone, cello and two tape recorders. The only arrangement in the series is Hair, a piece for concert band based on the musical composed by Galt MacDermot.
Also in this series is a script and scores, both in-progress and final, for a musical, Signs and Wonders, with lyrics by Herschel Garfein and book by Chris Smith. Based on White Jazz, a play by Marc Alan Zagoren, the musical was developed at New York University and performed there in workshop form in 2000. A program from these performances is in box 17, folder 5. The scores are mostly piano/vocal reductions but also include full piano/bass/vocal scores in the final versions, as well as bass and drum parts.
Boras worked on another musical, never completed, called Casey and David, for which there is only a brief script and sketch score. The lyricist or other authors for this project are unknown.
This series also contains songs on which Boras collaborated with lyricists, most often Bari Gilbert, but also with Mike Ventimiglia and, in one case, a song set to lyrics by Amiri Baraka (credited as Leroi Jones), and dedicated to Baraka's daughter, Kellie Jones. The songs mostly consist of lead sheets, but some of the songs Boras wrote with Gilbert and Ventimiglia have arrangements for piano trio and vocalist, or sketches of arrangements.
Finally, this series contains music Boras wrote for commercial advertising, sketches of unfinished music, and a folder of eight compositions by Wen Loong-Hsing, a friend of Boras's.