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Jay A. Chattaway

Jay A. Chattaway (‘68 MB, ‘96 MM)

Jay A. Chattaway, born in Monongahela, Pa., came to West Virginia University on a music scholarship. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music in 1968 and while studying for his master’s degree, served as assistant director of bands.

In 1969, he joined the U.S. Navy and began work with the arranging staff of the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C. He was later named chief arranger and composer-in-residence, a post he held for seven years. During this time, Chattaway composed music for the navy band, orchestra and chorus. In addition, he composed selections for the White House and created original music for government training films.

Following his military service in 1976, he entered the recording industry through CBS records in New York City. As a staff producer and later as head of Jazz Artists and Repertoire at Columbia Records, he worked with many artists including Carly Simon, The Talking Heads, David Byrne, Bob James, Gato Barbieri and Maynard Ferguson.

His arrangement of The Theme from Rocky for Ferguson resulted in his first Grammy nomination and a Gold Album. For Ferguson’s album Conquistador, he arranged a jazz version of Alexander George’s Star Trek theme, which became a hit single. Chattaway’s work garnered him for four Grammy nominations for jazz and instrumental arranging and composing and four Gold Albums.

In 1979, he formed Tappan Zee Records with colleague, Bob James. Three years later, when their contract with Columbia expired, Chattaway left the recording industry to score films, first in New York then in Hollywood. Since then, he has worked on 22 feature films including Stephen King’s Silver Bullet, Missing in Action starring Chuck Norris and Something Wild directed by Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme.

Chattaway has composed and arranged original music for advertising clients such as Coca-Cola, DuPont and California Fruits. His interest in world music and love for the sea led him to compose musical scores for several National Geographic Specials and Jacques Cousteau’s Rediscovery of the World: Australia and Rediscovery of the World: Alaska.

In 1989, he was asked to serve as a guest composer for an episode of the syndicated television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. After scoring three additional episodes, he was hired, in 1991, as a regular composer for the series sharing duties with composer Dennis McCarthy. Star Trek was the only weekly show to use a full orchestra. In 1993, he also began composing for the new Star Trek series Deep Space 9.

He has published more than 100 works for the educational market and has traveled around the world as a guest conductor. Chattaway is a leader in his field and is acknowledged as among the finest at his craft. His compositional output is among the most varied and voluminous for the industry.