Over the past 30 years you could have dropped in on Don Hart and found him writing with Phish front man Trey Anastasio, arranging horns for a pop artist like Amy Grant, or writing lush string arrangements for country megastars like Lee Brice, Wynonna and Martina McBride.
If you were watching TV you might have heard his work in a national advertisement, or in a series for A&E, CNN, TBS, or the History Channel.
If you’re a concert goer, you may have heard his arrangements and compositions performed by many of the finest symphonic organizations,
including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the LosAngeles Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony.
In 2011-12, his ongoing work with legendary Phish front-man, Trey Anastasio, garnered a sold out 2012 Winter Symphony Tour for which Don scored the show and also composed some of the music. This very successful tour was well-received by concert goers, orchestra members and the media, as evidenced by this Rolling Stone review of the March 10 concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Don Hart’s been a busy man in Nashville, helping put his unique and award-winning sound on future hit songs in genres ranging from country to pop, gospel to rock, and earning Grammy, Clio, Dove, and a Grammy nomination in 2006 for his arrangement of ‘Scary
Things’ from the award winning children’s album ‘Kid Pan Alley Nashville’
(Parents’ Choice Gold Award and NAPPA Gold Award).
He crafted the string arrangements on Randy Travis’ 2005 Grammy winning album ‘Worship and Praise’, and provided the iconic arrangement on the Martina McBride single, ‘In My Daughter’s Eyes’, seen on the 2003 CMA awards telecast.
“I try to work with everyone,” says Hart. “I appreciate all styles of music, all types of artists, and love figuring out what makes an artist tick – what enables them to communicate with their audience. That information allows me to determine the direction of a particular song or track, and how my arrangement can pave the way. I then create that special part that brings everything together.”
Embracing the diversity of today’s Music City, Don has worked in a broad range of styles, with a glowing list of artists and musicians including Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Lyle Lovett, John Jorgenson, Sam Bush, Andy Williams, Randy Travis, The Oak Ridge Boys, Darrell Scott, The Mavericks, Suzy Bogguss, Viktor Krauss, Steven Curtis Chapman, Gretchen Peters, Raul Malo, Collective Soul, Chris Tomlin, Stuart Duncan, LoneStar, Bryan Sutton, Dan Dugmore, Matraca Berg, Wynona, Nanci Griffith, Sandi Patty, and Steve Green.
Don’s instrumental and choral arrangements have been published by a number of companies, including Hal Leonard, Word Entertainment, Shawnee Press and Lorenz. He has also arranged and orchestrated for McGraw-Hill’s ‘music curriculum’ series.
Don and his wife Kathy live in Nashville, TN. Their son Patrick is a graduate student at McGill niversity, and their daughter Justine is a student at the University of Iowa.
Don, I didn’t know you were nominated for a Grammy. How cool was that? You sure deserved it. Wishing you luck on this exciting 2009 year. MJ
Don, I think that you do great work.
I’ve been listening to your music. I’m fascinated. I just love the symphony and though I’ve started a bit late in the game (in my 30s), I’m so fond of the staff (paper) that I sit down and try to write a little music every day now. I would enjoy reading more about you and your life of music, if you ever decide to talk more about yourself.
I have a cassette accompaniment track for The Lord’s Prayer that was arranged by Don Hart, produced by Larry day, sung by George King, and distributed by The Benson Group/
IMPACT RECORD, 1987.
I love singing to this track, but can’t locate a digital version. Can you help?
I’m loving reading all this stuff about you. I’m sure there is more that I have not seen or found yet.
Loved the show @ Disney Hall last night, Don! Thanks for taking this on, both for our entertainment and for helping expose Phish fans to a wider palette of sound and instrumentation. Bravo!!
I am doing your ‘A Mighty Fortress’ this year for Reformation. It took me a while to find for my new church but, by God, I got it. I am so happy and I think my church choir will love it as much as I do.
Hi Vera! Thank you for getting in touch and for the nice feedback! I’m so grateful you persisted in finding ‘A Mighty Fortress’ and for letting me know your plans. Please let me know how it works out for you. I looked over your info on the church website. Congratulations; great stuff! I have a number of “yet-to-be-published” arrangements which may be of interest to you, and a few published pieces you may not be aware of. Accompanied choral, a capella and a variety of instrumental pieces are available. My plans are to put a comprehensive list of that material on this website, but in the mean time, just let me know and I’ll send that info your way. All the best, Don
Hi Don: I sent an email to you yesterday regarding ANCIENT OF DAYS and one other arrangement of yours.Can you let me know how I get a CD and sheet music of that song and any other Acappella arrangements. Thank Barry GoddardMD