Merle Isaac had a prolific composing and arranging career during his life, which lasted 97 years. Most of his life was spent in the Chicago area. He began his career teaching at Marshall High School, where he led a ninety-piece award winning orchestra. He noticed that there was little or no music available to orchestras with less experienced players. So he started to compose and arrange music for his young orchestra. His first arrangement was Bohm's Perpetual Motion and his original compositions include the Merle Isaac String Class Method. Isaac worked in the Chicago Schools for 35 years. After his retirement, he continued to be involved in music education. He became a clinician and an adjudicator, as well as being a frequent guest conductor in many cities across the country. While he did these, he also kept busy as he continued to write compositions and arrangements. Over the length of his career, Isaac belonged to a number of music organizations, including the Music Educators National Conference. He also received many awards, one of which was the Distinguished Service Award from the American String Teachers Association.

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