Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Jay Dean

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Christopher Goertzen

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Gregory Fuller

Committee Member 4 Department


Committee Member 5

Steven Moser

Committee Member 5 Department



The purpose of this research is to present an organized account of the life, career and music of this prominent American symphonic conductor. James Anderson DePreist is an African American conductor/composer, educator and spokesman for the Americans with Disabilities who has achieved prominence in the symphonic field while overcoming many obstacles, both physical and social. In addition to having have conducted orchestras all over the world, this maternal nephew of famed contralto Marian Anderson is best known as the arranger/composer of Theme For The Cosby Show, the 1988–1989 season, as recorded by the Oregon Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to a discography, this document also contains an exhaustive bibliography of the important articles written about DePreist,. Additional information is presented on his roles outside of music. In spite of the author having had limited access to Mr. DePreist, his students and members of his orchestras, this author has provided a chronological account of DePreist’s immense contributions to the development of music as experienced by countless people throughout the world. Serving as a role model for the disabled, James Anderson DePreist personifies “The Spirit of Triumph.”