Picture of Robin Frost

Robin Frost


Robin Frost was born in Washington, D.C. in 1930 into a wonderful musical environment. His father, the late Frank J. Frost, was a prominent eastern businessman and an amateur violinist and music patron. Mr. Frost had a winter home in Ojai, California and in 1926 Mr. Frost along with Mrs. Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge sponsored one of Ojai’s first musical events, the Ojai Valley Festival of Chamber Music. The three-day festival was held in the Foothills Hotel and drew performers and audience from both the east and west coasts. Robin’s earliest childhood memories are of chamber music drifting up from downstairs as he fell asleep.

By the mid-1930s the Frosts had moved to Palo Alto. Robin began piano lessons at the age of six with Margaret Tilly, a distinguished English musician living in San Francisco. Robin relates that he actually had two teachers at the time. Since Miss Tilly resented teaching a rich man’s brats if they weren’t going to practice, another lady was engaged to sit with Robin, his brother and sister after school to see to it that they practiced correctly. This lady, a Mrs. King, used to sell sheet music in department stores before she got swept into orbit around the Frost Family. She had to make the popular songs of the ‘20’s and ‘30’s sound beautiful and she showed Robin how to emphasize the 5th finger of the right hand so as to bring out the melody when this sat atop full chords. She was an ace sight reader, of course, and a fine musician. She taught Robin to write neatly and how to use the pedal tastefully; neither too much nor too little. Robin was lucky to have these two teachers early in his life and parents who sought them out. As a result Robin developed an extraordinary talent in both the Classical and Popular music idioms.

He got interested in popular music just by listening to the big band records (Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, etc.) brought home by his older sister, and by the Rhapsody In Blue, which he listened to endlessly. It was the 2nd recording that the Paul Whiteman band made with Gershwin himself at the piano. He was utterly fascinated by the sexy energy, the slimy clarinet portimenti, the pounding rhythms. Miss Tilly loathed Gershwin's music, especially the sly grace notes that give the Rhapsody, and so much of Gershwin's music, its character. The more she hated it, the more he loved it. Then his Concerto in F had a similar effect on him later. Gershwin and Debussy were his first loves. Then Fats Waller and his exultant preaching touched his heart and soul. A little later Bix Beiderbecke's intense, brooding cornet playing found its way into Robin’s inner brain, and Louis Armstrong had a similar effect.

He soon began improvising little pieces of his own so theory and composition were emphasized by his teacher, although it was expected that he would be a concert pianist. He was taken regularly to hear the San Francisco Symphony conducted by the legendary Pierre Monteux.

Robin’s first successes at writing for orchestra were for his high school and for the Stanford Football Band when he was fourteen. The piano lessons continued but his focus was on composition. He wrote the graduation march for the band to play at his high school graduation. His musical education has been for the most part private instruction and tutoring. He attended Darius Milhaud’s master classes at the Music Academy of the West in 1952. Later his most important teacher was the film composer, the late Eric Zeisl.

On the classical side, Robin has written many orchestral, chamber and choral works, some of which have won prizes and many of which have been performed and well received. Before moving to Ojai from Santa Barbara in 1988, Robin divided his time between working in the commercial recording industry as an arranger and music director and teaching music and directing the choir at St. Anthony’s Seminary.

Robin was caught up in “The Sting” Ragtime revival and was invited to perform at the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, California in 1979. He decided to write a couple of ragtime pieces to perform and they were enthusiastically received by the audience. He continued to compose and perform each year at the Old Town Music Hall and was also invited to perform at the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival at Sedalia, Missouri and the West Coast Ragtime Festival at Fresno, California. He always brought two or three new compositions to these performances, written especially for the occasion.

Robin has never taken his “funny little piano pieces” very seriously as evidenced by their frivolous titles. “I write them just to ‘keep the spring clear’, as one lady once expressed it. One could also say ‘use it or lose it’.” When asked about the process by which they were created, he states, “Most of my piano pieces were, and are, written by the process of simply playing with little figures while keeping the overall structure in the back of my mind, be it classic rag, rondo, or Tin Pan Alley 32-bar song form.


Available Robin Frost Music


MIDI Sequences from John Roache's Ragtime MIDI Library:

Fingers on Holiday - A Robin Frost Sequence

The following sequences are by John Roache:
Windmill Rag
Space Shuffle
Rolling Avocado
Occident Express
Uncle Herbie's Rag
Eccentric Formalism Rag
3 Sheets in the Ocean, One Foot in the Sunset, and You

Music Folios

Kot Kumquats and Other Frosty Treats

Contains 18 new compositions written by Robin Frost in 1997-1998. These hot, thirties-style, piano solos are all never-before-published pieces, twelve of which are included on John Roache's CD of the same title.
This folio is especially produced with a comb-ring binding to lay flat on the piano and enables the pages to turn easily. The music is printed on specially selected non-reflective paper to make it easy to read under any lighting condition.
Volume One Cover

CONTENTS:

Bone Fragments
Bozo Pants
Cool Summer
Friday By The Lake
Greased Limelight
Hot Kumquats
Jellyfish Omelet
Lobbo Aim
Long and Gentle
Moon Devil
Roger's Favorite Toy
Running On The Rims
Sharp Simon
Shorty
Summer Dawn
Temperature
Three Lost Bodies
Unconfirmed Report

97 pages
For Advanced Pianists
Price: $22.95 plus $3.95 shipping and handling (For orders sent outside the USA, add $4.00. California residents add 8.25% sales tax)

Order From:
John Roache Music
P.O. Box 28
Torrance CA 90507-0028, U.S.A.

Visa, American Express and Master Card Accepted

Click HERE for ordering info, and online sound clips of each piece.

The Best of Robin Frost, Volume ONE

Contains 14 of Robin's best piano solo masterpieces, a composer's biography, and notes describing the inspiration for each piece with playing tips.

The scores in this, the second printing of his works, are completely revised, updated, edited, and professionally engraved. Also included are seven of Robin's charming original cover illustrations and an autographed picture.
This folio is especially produced with a comb-ring binding to lay flat on the piano and enables the pages to turn easily. The music is printed on specially selected non-reflective paper to make it easy to read under any lighting condition.

Volume One Cover

CONTENTS:

The Composer's biography
The Composer's music notes
COMPOSITIONS:
Sugar Rush
Space Shuffle
Summerland
Windmill Rag
The Ragpicker’s Nose
In Orbit
Olympic Stride Waltz
Occident Express
Three Sheets in the Ocean, One Foot In The Sunset, And You
Rolling Avocado
Green Hills
Eccentric Formalism Rag
Nocturne
Uncle Herbie’s Rag

80 pages of music, notes, and illustrations.
For Intermediate to Advanced Pianists
Price: $22.95 plus $3.95 shipping and handling (For orders sent outside the USA, add $4.00. California residents add 8.25% sales tax)

Order From:
John Roache Music
P.O. Box 28
Torrance CA 90507-0028, U.S.A.

Visa, American Express and Master Card Accepted

You may now order Folios online! Click HERE to go to the order form.

The Best of Robin Frost, Volume TWO

Contains 14 more of Robin's best piano solo masterpieces, a composer's biography, and notes describing the inspiration for each piece with playing tips.

The scores in this, the second printing of his works, are completely revised, updated, edited, and professionally engraved. Also included are four of Robin's charming original cover illustrations and an autographed picture.
This folio is especially produced with a comb-ring binding to lay flat on the piano and enables the pages to turn easily. The music is printed on specially selected non-reflective paper to make it easy to read under any lighting condition.

Volume Two Cover

CONTENTS:

The Composer's biography
The Composer's music notes
COMPOSITIONS:
L’Apres-midi D’un Raisin
Satisfaction
Hard Luck Lulu
Blue Rondeau
Raisin Ragout
Alligator Gravy
Spring Fervor
Zymurgy Rag
Starfish Strut
Athlone Nights
Summer Solace
Doin’ The Shim-Sham
Fingers On Holiday
Smoke and Mirrors

67 pages of music, notes, and illustrations.
For Intermediate to Advanced Pianists
Price: $22.95 plus $3.95 shipping and handling (For orders sent outside the USA, add $4.00. California residents add 8.25% sales tax)

Order From:
John Roache Music
P.O. Box 28
Torrance CA 90507-0028, U.S.A.

Visa, American Express and Master Card Accepted

You may now order Folios online! Click HERE to go to the order form.

Piano Rolls


Meliora Music Rolls has just published three John Roache piano performance/arrangements of Robin Frost compositions on 88-note piano rolls.

The following are now available:
  • "Hot Kumquats" - The TITLE PIECE from John Roache's new CD
  • "Bozo Pants" - Also from the new CD "Hot Kumquats" by John Roache.
  • "Long and Gentle" - A great, previously-unpublished Frost composition.


Discography


"Hot Kumquats and Other Frosty Treats" John Roache, Piano
Label:
John Roache Music
Catalog #:
JRCD020
Address
John Roache Music
P.O. Box 28
Torrance, California 90507-0028
USA

You may now order "Hot Kumquats" online! Click HERE to go to the order form.

Year Released
1998
Comment: Roache performs 18 Frost Compositions, twelve of which are previously unpublished-
  1. Hot Kumquats
  2. Cool Summer
  3. Three Lost Bodies
  4. Doin' the ShimSham
  5. Alligator Gravy
  6. Bozo Pants
  7. L'Après-Midi d'un Raisin
  8. Summer Solace
  9. LobboAim
  10. Summer Dawn
  11. Temperature
  12. Roger's Favorite Toy
  13. Jellyfish Omelet
  14. Blue Rondeau
  15. In Orbit
  16. Unconfirmed Report
  17. Friday By The Lake
  18. Running on the Rims

"Syncopated Odyssey" John Roache, Piano

Label:
John Roache Music
Catalog #:
JRCD010
Address
John Roache Music
P.O. Box 28
Torrance, California 90507-0028
USA

You may now order Syncopated Odyssey online! Click HERE to go to the order form.

Year Released
1997
Comment: Roache performs 6 Frost Compositions -
  1. Three Sheets in the Ocean, One Foot in the Sunset, and You
  2. Occident Express
  3. Eccentric Formalism Rag
  4. Windmill Rag
  5. Rolling Avocado
  6. and Space Shuffle

"Space Shuffle and Other Futuristic Rags" Mathew Davidson, Piano

Label
Stomp Off
Catalog Number
CD 1252
Address
Stomp Off
P.O. Box 342
York, Pennsylvania 17405
USA
Year Released
1992
Comment: Davidson plays 5 Frost Compositions
  1. Space Shuffle
  2. Windmill Rag
  3. Fingers on Holiday
  4. The Occident Express
  5. Zymurgy Rag

"Brass Knuckles, An Excursion into Contemporary Ragtime" Tony Caramia, Piano

Label
Albany Records
Catalog Number
TROY 253
Address
Albany Records
P.O. Box 5011
Albany, New York 12205-0011
USA
Year Released
1997
Comment: Caramia plays 3 Frost Compositions
  1. Olympic Stride Waltz
  2. Nocturne
  3. Satisfaction

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