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While most of his contemporaries sought PhDs and teaching careers, Glickman, armed with his composition/technology in music and related arts (TIMARA) degree, headed West in search of a music career--Hollywood style. Soft-spoken and given to bouts of excessive modesty, Glickman had nonetheless dreamed of being a showbiz composer since he began writing musicals for his junior high school in Miami. He quickly landed a job with AJP, working on music publishing. To make ends meet, he wrote and arranged music for Thighmaster commercials, Disney ice shows, and TV pilots that never got picked up. Not exactly the high-profile projects young composers dream of, but they paid the rent. "When I go back to Oberlin to teach master classes, I always tell students that if this is what they want to do, they'll have to take on pilots, do bad arrangements, and work on cheesy stuff," he says. "But you never know where it will lead."

In Glickman's case, these early projects led to gigs on "Night Court," "Life Goes On," and "Cheers." In one episode of "Cheers" that finds the character Cliff on "The Tonight Show," Glickman arranged "Hooray for Hollywood" for a montage, and wrote a big-band piece for the faux "Tonight Show" orchestra. "That was funny as hell," he recalls. "And about 180 degrees from Oberlin--not at all cerebral or academic."

He had no idea just how much fun he was in for when he signed up to do a funky pilot called "Picket Fences." The project turned into a four-year stint as David E. Kelley's music production supervisor, which involved overseeing the show's nonscored music when an actor had to sing or play an instrument. When "Picket Fences" went off the air, Kelley's composer, Stewart Levin, tapped Glickman for "The Practice." It was Glickman who taught John Larroquette to tickle the ivories for his Emmy-winning role as "The Practice's" piano-playing psychopath who gets away with murder.

Whether it's jingles, TV shows, or his own music, rarely does Glickman compose in his office or even at the piano. Instead, he's a prolific scribbler, jotting down notes whenever (or wherever) inspiration strikes--in the shower, on a bike ride, at a restaurant, even in his car. "The music floats in my head," he says. "I just know what those notes translate into."


"Kaleidoscope March" is his latest composition. Written specifically for kids and their parents, the piece for orchestra and solo clarinet has an infectious shuffle groove and features an audience sing-along in the middle. "I wanted something colorful that really showed off the orchestra," he says. "But it had to be accessible, nothing fancy; something the audience could latch onto right away."

Glickman envisioned his solo clarinet beguiling the audience like a pied piper. "I wanted him to start in the audience from behind," he says. "Everyone would be looking at the orchestra onstage, and then suddenly--surprise!--a clarinet would be coming from the back, walking through the audience, and playing the melody."

Its first private concert brought rave reviews from Glickman's favorite critic--his 3-year-old daughter Leah. But from the broad smiles and the hoots and hollers that the musicians sent out to the soloist this morning, it's obvious they're really relishing the piece, too. Digging it most of all is Glickman.

"It's a wonderful high to stand in front of the orchestra when you've written a piece and have it performed in concert," he says. "There's nothing quite like it."

Monica Gullon is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.


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