Calvin H. “Bud” Custer (July 15, 1939- Apr. 21, 1998) was an American composer and arranger. Born on July 15, 1939, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Calvin H. Custer Sr. and Florence Helen Peterson Custer, he attended Carnegie Mellon University and Syracuse University. His composition teachers included Nikolai Lopatnikoff, Ernst Bacon, and Earl George. He also studied conducting with Karl Kritz, first music director of the Syracuse Symphony. Custer was associated with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra during the majority of his musical career serving in the keyboard, horn, and string bass sections; holding various conducting positions; and serving as staff arranger. He helped to implement the orchestra’s chamber music program which continues to perform in local schools and libraries to this day.
Calvin was a member of the both the rock and percussion ensembles in which he played numerous instruments including keyboard and guitar. Custer was prolific in his creations of arrangements for orchestra, many of which were performed by orchestras across the country including the Boston Pops Orchestra. His many arrangements for band include Adagio for Strings (Barber), Ashokan Farewell (Ungar), Rolling Thunder (Fillmore), and Star Wars Main Theme (Williams). He died on Apr. 21, 1998, in Syracuse, New York. In 2006, the Syracuse Symphony released a CD of Custer’s arrangements on the disc Big Band Bash.
My collection includes the following work by Calvin Custer:
A Fresh Aire Christmas.