Ladd McIntosh In a wide-ranging career full of accomplishments, Ladd has excelled as an orchestrator for Hollywood films, jazz educator, composer-arranger, and bandleader. He gained national recognition while still a student at Ohio State University where he organized, conducted, played in and wrote the entire libraries for two jazz ensembles. There was no jazz program at Ohio State at that time. During this time Ladd won outstanding composer awards at five major college jazz festivals including the Duke Ellington Award for best composition at the first American College Music Festival held in Miami, Florida (1967).
His Ohio State band won the Stan Kenton Award for best big band at the same festival. Their performance was featured on an album released on Impulse Records which received rave reviews in The New York Times, Hi-Fi/Stereo Review and other publications. He received both his Bachelor of Music degree (composition and theory) and Masters of Music degree (woodwinds performance) from Ohio State University. Upon completion of his Masters degree (1970) Ladd turned down an offer to join Stan Kenton’s sax section to accept a position at The University of Utah’s new jazz program. Conceived by the legendary Dr. William L. Fowler and one of the very first jazz degree programs offered at a major university, the program attracted students from all over the U.S. and grew so rapidly that the more traditionally oriented music department terminated the program and Ladd’s employment after only two years.
The jazz program was transferred successfully to nearby Westminster College where Ladd was Director of Jazz Studies for the next three years. Jimmy Lyons, the founder of the Monterey Jazz Festival, personally hired McIntosh as the first director of the California High School All-Star Band, a position he enjoyed from 1971 to 1976. He premiered new works at each festival and performed with guest artists Oliver Nelson, Clark Terry, Patrick Williams, Bill Watrous, Art Blakey and Gerry Mulligan. Ladd moved to Los Angeles in 1975 and taught full-time for 2+ years at The Dick Grove Music Workshops. He also taught summers at Disneyland and part-time at Long Beach City College during this time. From 1977-1996 Ladd taught improvisation, jazz arranging and jazz ensembles at California State University, Northridge.
He taught jazz improvisation at The Henry Mancini Institute the last four summers of that program’s existence (2003-2006). McIntosh was active for many years as an adjudicator, clinician and soloist at college and high school festivals around the country. He was selected to lead the #1 band and teach jazz arranging at the 1969 National Stage Band Camps; presented a lecture on jazz arranging at the 1984 NAJE Convention and worked closely with the late Grant Wolf on many summer jazz camps in Arizona from 1972-1985. In the early days of jazz education, a series of twelve compositions by Ladd were made available thru Downbeat. He then signed with Mission Music who published several of his compositions in the early 1970s. From 1976-1990 he owned and operated Machu Picchu Music which published his works exclusively. Since 1991 his compositions have been available through Walrus Music.
In addition to his many published big band compositions Ladd has written several pieces for various ensembles as well as a 90-minute rock opera. His Sonatina for Alto Saxophone and Piano was released by Doug Masek on Centaur Records. Ladd’s compositions or arrangements have been performed by Clark Terry, Eddie Daniels, Phil Woods, Marvin Stamm, Buddy Childers, Toni Tennille, Connie Stevens and Monty Alexander. Ladd currently leads two bands. His big band has been performing in the Los Angeles area since 1980 and has released four CDs to date. The jazz-oriented band is made up of seasoned pros playing McIntosh originals and arrangements.
The Ladd McIntosh Swing Orchestra, only four years old, has been thrilling avid swing dancers in southern California. The 16 piece ensemble captures the magic of authentic swing music the way it was performed in the heyday of Swing. The library is a mix of faithful transcriptions by Ladd of the great swing classics and new arrangements by him on standard tunes of the era. Three CDs of this band are mixed and mastered awaiting release.
Since 1992 Ladd has worked as an orchestrator on 120 motion pictures. He is currently the head orchestrator for two noted film composers: Harry Gregson-Williams and Heitor Pereira. Ladd’s credits as head orchestrator include: “Cowboys and Aliens,” “The Smurfs,” “Shrek Forever After,” “The Prince of Persia,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “The Town,” “Unstoppable,” “The Taking of Pelham 123,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” “Shrek the Third,” “Déjà vu,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” “Gone Baby Gone” and several other films. His orchestrations are also heard on “The Lion King,” “Speed,” “The Rock,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” “Face Off, “ “Crimson Tide,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Last Samurai,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Gladiator,” “Armageddon,” “The Thin Red Line,” “The Peacemaker,” “The Man in the Iron Mask,” “The Time Machine,” “Shrek,” “Antz,” “A League of Their Own” and many more.
In 2007 he was named Alumnus of the Year by The Ohio State University School of Music. That same year he received the Citation for Music from The Ohioana Library along with commendations from the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives.