His Life (so far)


Dean in 1955Dean Crocker was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Shortly before turning six, he entered first grade. Two months later, he began taking piano lessons. The reason for this is somewhat mysterious. Apparently, his mother was tired of his banging on the keyboard and yelling whenever she attempted to play and decided to respond in kind.

Dean in 1960While attending the Fort Worth Public Schools, he took up violin, flute, organ and trombone. (Over the years, he put them back down again.) In junior high school, the possibility existed to avoid physical education classes by participating in marching band. This is an excellent opportunity for a music geek and is highly recommended. Unfortunately, it requires actually participating in a marching band. It was many years before Dean realized just how ridiculous marching band really is.

Dean in 1966In the ninth grade, Dean began working gigs in night clubs. In the tenth grade, he began playing church jobs. (It is interesting to note that working at church at that age was apparently legal; working in bars apparently was not.) Both these careers continued for many years. He finally got tired of playing for drunks; long years of “service” to Episcopal, Methodist, Disciples of Christ, and Catholic congregations seriously affected his feelings concerning the religion biz. During this period, many hours were spent playing with marching bands, symphonic orchestras, dance band combos, church choirs, chamber ensembles, and rock bands.

Dean in 1974After spending two years at Texas Christian University, Dean transferred to North Texas State University, which at that time had over 1500 music majors and at this time is called the University of North Texas. Majoring in composition, Dean was very interested in synthesizers, computers, the avant garde, and the “theatrical” aspects of performance art. Of course synthesizers at that time filled one side of a room, played one note at a time, and had actual transistors and the like soldered onto breadboards. (How many people today have ever seen a transistor?) The first computer program he ever wrote was entered on paper tape from a teletype terminal, and the “avant garde” is now unbearably old-fashioned and regularly used by hip-hop music-video producers.

Dean in 1980Unfortunately, one day someone—who still remains unidentified—walked up to Dean in the music building and calmly announced, “Some cats over in the drama department are looking for a musical director for some show they’re doing and I thought you might be interested.” Rather than being insulted, he got the gig and rarely looked back.

Dean in 2004Dean Crocker was musical director for the European tour of 42nd Street, which played the major theaters of Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands for seven years. [He has done almost 1200 performances of this show and, frighteningly enough, this is not even close to a record!] Previously, Dean conducted American tours of Dreamgirls and 42nd Street. He has also been musical director for J&E Productions and for Broadway Baby Dinner Theater in Milwaukee, as well as Wayside Theatre (Virginia), Sacramento Music Circus (California), Dallas Repertory Theater (Texas), and Surflight Summer Theater (New Jersey). For five years, he was rehearsal pianist for Casa Mañana Musicals (Texas) and he served as staff accompanist for the music and dance departments of Texas Woman’s University.

Dean self-portrait from cell phoneDean finally received degrees in music composition from the University of North Texas, where he also taught composition, orchestration, electronic music synthesis and comprehensive musicianship. He has been listed in Who’s Who in Entertainment, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in America. Dean lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his wife, Emily, and their cat, Maizy. He currently occupies his time arranging, engraving and composing music. He also has designed several web sites. Sadly, they were mostly written for companies that have either gone out of business or decided that his assistance was no longer desired. You may be interested in visiting CROCKER MUSIC.