UNH Magazine
Spring 01 masthead Current issue Past issues Send news Address updates Advertise About UNH Magazine Alumni home

Issue Date
  Cover photo
  by Doug Prince

Class Notes
Departments Alumni news Alumni profiles Book reviews Campus Currents Guest essay History page Letters to the editor Obits President's column Short features UNH research Department archives Table of contents

Search UNH Magazine:


Paul McCartney and Tim Janis '91
Tim Janis '91 recently collaborated with Paul McCartney on a CD recorded on Janis' own label. The CD, "Music of Hope," reached number one on the Billboard classical music chart, the first time in 15 years an independent production has achieved number one status.

'I Write the Songs'

Composer Tim Janis '91 is in pretty good company these days. On his latest compact disc recording, "Music of Hope," he shares billing with Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Andre Previn and the London Symphony, among others.

This new CD, just released in February on Janis' own record label, is his seventh. Two of his previous CDs, "December Morning" (1999) and "Water's Edge" (2000), made the Billboard charts. In the past three years, Janis has sold more than 250,000 CDs. To put this in perspective, an average national release by an independent label (all but about 10 percent of recorded music in this country is released on one of four big labels) can expect to sell 25,000 copies if it does well. Janis' sales record makes him one of the most successful independent musicians in the business.

Janis works at his own 32-track digital recording studio in Kennebunk, Maine. He built the studio after graduating from UNH, where he was a music composition major. He studied with John Rogers, who remembers him well and is not surprised by his success. "He is extremely determined and he has a good ear and a lot of talent," Rogers observes.

It was his determination that led Janis to produce his first CD on his own and go on the road to sell it. He played at music festivals and in shopping malls and any other public venue he could find, and many of the people who heard him bought his CDs. He now has eight groups of classically trained musicians playing his compositions every weekend in cities across the country and selling CDs at their concerts.

"Music of Hope" was produced to benefit the American Cancer Society, which will receive all of the artists' royalties and record company profits. It was Janis' idea to record the CD, which he describes as a "cross-genre tribute to the uplifting power of music and the message of hope."

"We approached musicians we thought would like to help," Janis recalls. "Paul McCartney gave us 'Nova,' a voice composition he wrote for Linda [Linda McCartney died of breast cancer in 1998], which I arranged for orchestra. Billy Joel sent me a piano piece, which I orchestrated. It was performed by the London Symphony, which also recorded my orchestral version of 'Amazing Grace.' Ray Charles recorded the vocal track for that piece. "Working with musicians like that, who are so careful about the details and care so much about the music, is just a wonderful experience," Janis says.

The CD is not the only new development in Janis' career. He has been invited to conduct the American Symphony Orchestra on June 23, at 8 p.m., at Lincoln Center. The program will be made up of his compositions, and the performance will be recorded for a PBS special to air on PBS stations during December pledge week.

Janis is modest about his success. "The music was a gift to me," he says. "I'm just the guy who wrote it down. My job is to be grateful, which I am, and just create more music."

--Bill Burtis

Return to Alumni Profiles

blog comments powered by Disqus

Current issue | Past issues | Class notes
Department archives | Send a letter/news | Address updates
Advertise | About UNH Magazine | Alumni home | UNH home

University of New Hampshire Alumni Association
9 Edgewood Road  Durham NH 03824  (603) 862-2040