Donald Ashwander, Pianist/composer
Donald Ashwander 1929-1994

A Brief Biography of Donald Ashwander

(As written by his family in Volume 1 of "The Music of Donald Ashwander")
Trying to write something brief about Donald Ashwander is a tall order. Donald was so many different things to so many people, and was in many respects an amazing chameleon. Still, he was always unpretentious, incredibly focused, supremely interesting and rarely without a tale to spin or an opinion to proclaim. He had friends and colleagues all over the world, and when he died suddenly on October 26, 1994 of a massive heart attack, it was like something had let the air out of us all.

Alabama-born and raised, Donald's formal education and musical career of four decades was centered in New York City. For 28 years he was Musical Director, composer amd performer with The Paper Bag Players, considered by many to be America's formost children's theater. If you were fortunate to see any of these performances you no doubt are smiling, recalling the rambunctious, tilt-a-whirl pace, imaginative sets and props, top-notch production, acting, singing, dancing, and that wholly infectious music!

Yet Donald had another musical life as well. He composed a wealth of what he referred to as "good ol' southern ragtime," but he didn't stop there. Donald's creative talent also produced cabaret songs, ranging from giddy musical story-stomps to torchy ballads straight out of 1940's film noir, Civil War-inspired operettas, southern gospel-flavored popular songs, and imaginative, skillfully crafted contemporary rags. Donald simply loved to write music, and he was equally as excited when his music was performed by a local cabaret singer as when it was performed by the Royal Ballet of London or the Mobile Civic Ballet.

Available Material by Donald Ashwander

Midi Sequence..

Friday Night. A midi sequence by John Roache.
Donald Ashwander's first published ragtime composition. Written in 1965-66, it was finished on a Friday night. Hence the title.

Printed Music

The Ashwander family is endeavoring to keep Donald's music alive by offering two of hopefully many music folios.

The Music of Donald Ashwander, Volume 1

This first volume contains ten of Donald's Rags and includes an audio cassette of him performing the pieces in the folio:
"THE MUSIC OF DONALD ASHWANDER, VOLUME 1"
FRIDAY NIGHT (1965)
ASTOR PLACE RAG WALTZ (1966)
BUSINESS IN TOWN (1966)
MOBILE CARNIVAL RAG TANGO (1966)
EMPTY PORCHES (1969)
WATERLOO RAG (1972)
FORGOTTEN BALLROOMS (1983)
ON THE HIGHWIRE (1985)
PERDIDO BAY MOON RAG (1988)
YARD SALE RAG (1992)
Price of the folio and included tape is $24.00
plus S&H of $4 (USA), $6 (Canada), $8 (Europe) and $10 (all other).
Texas residents add 8.25% Sales Tax
Pay by check or Money Order

Order from:
Ashwander Music
c/o Judy Ashwander Moore
10101 Laingtree Dr.
Dallas TX 75243
e-mail: donmoore@earthlink.net
Phone: (972) 699-8806 Fax: (972) 437-1699


The Piano Music of Donald Ashwander Volume II

This folio contains 20 Ashwander compositions and should be in the music collection of every serious ragtime afficianado.

THE FOLIO
Part I Part II

Price of the folio is $29.00
plus S&H of $4 (USA & Canada), $8 (all other countries).
Texas residents add 8.25% Sales Tax
Pay by Check or Money Order

Order from:
Ashwander Music
c/o Judy Ashwander Moore
10101 Laingtree Dr.
Dallas TX 75243
e-mail: donmoore@earthlink.net
Phone: (972) 699-8806 Fax: (972) 437-1699

go to home page

The Ragtime Midi Libraries of John E. Roache, contact@johnroachemusic.com