Arkansas-born composer Wayne Eastwood wrote his first song when he was ten years old. All-in-all, he thought the whole thing pretty easy work, so he spent his formative years teaching himself music theory, vocal production, and composition. On arriving at university, he was fortunate to find professors willing to clean him up and provide him with a portfolio sufficient to interest Ned Rorem in tutoring him.
He sang and conducted for a time in New York City, but finding school easier than working for a living, he returned regularly to university studies. He holds an undergraduate degree in voice, a master’s degree in composition, and a Ph.D. in conducting from the College of Music, the University of North Texas. The university enclosed a note with his diploma informing him that they had changed the locks on the conservatory doors and he should get a life.
Eastwood has worked as the Director of Choral Activities for universities in Texas, taught graduate courses in California and Ohio, and spent a term at the University of Łodz, Poland, lecturing on the dangers of American music. He is married to a pastor and lives in an 1885 Victorian held together by paint and inertia.
His music appears regularly in the programs of university choruses and standing choirs across the country. The Philippine-based Ateneo Chamber Singers performed a set of his choral works on their recent world tour, to outstanding reviews and a few screams for diplomatic immunity. His love is more thicker than forget recently won the New York Choral Consortium’s inaugural Sing New York! Festival prize.
He continues to be an important voice in contemporary music composition. He is represented by PROJECT : ENCORE™ and has served as Featured Composer for Schola Cantorum on Hudson, Composer in Residence for the Shafley Ensemble and the Arlington Singers, and Composer Not in Residence for the San Francisco Choral Artists. Eastwood is also the Creative Consultant of the New Music Initiative for Project : Encore, a review of contemporary choral literature. He collects Pogo first editions, vintage LPs, and patterned paper towels that he stuffs in the cracks in the walls of his house.