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A HUSH-HUSH RECORDING OF COSBY'S NEW THEME

Published: Saturday, June 4 1988 12:00 a.m. MDT

The Oregon Symphony was called into secret session at a concert hall to record a new version of the theme for television's "The Cosby Show."

Musical director James DePreist, musicians, technicians and members of the show's production staff were the only people allowed to hear the recording this week. The public won't hear it until the show begins its new season, scheduled for Oct. 3.DePriest said he believes the 84-piece symphony created the "orchestral sound" Bill Cosby wanted for the new arrangement, written by DePreist, a high school friend of Cosby's in Philadelphia.

The theme for the next season will not include vocals as the current theme does.

DePreist said rearranging the theme was difficult, but he was satisfied with the arrangement and recording session, which lasted several hours.

"The most difficult thing of all is to try to provide an arrangement of a theme that already exists," he said. "Each incarnation of the theme has an individual distinction. It was Cos' idea to have a clearly orchestral sound for this arrangement of the theme, so I tried to give him what he asked for.

"It's a matter of melding the spirit of that show, which is obviously upbeat, within a context that is orchestral. So the orchestral contribution is the nature of the sound, the sound that only a symphony orchestra can create."

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