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Biography of

Clifton Williams

26 mar 1923 (Traskwood) - 12 feb 1976 (Miami)
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James Clifton Williams Jr. (1923– 12 February 1976) was born in Traskwood, Arkansas. He began playing French horn, piano, and mellophone early on and played in the band at Little Rock High School. In his senior class of 600, he was voted for being the most outstanding in artistry, talent, and versatility.

As a professional horn player he would go on to perform with the San Antonio and New Orleans Symphony Orchestras. Williams also served in the Army Air Corps band as a drum major, composing in his spare time.


He attended Louisiana State University (B.M., 1947) where he was a pupil of Helen Gunderson and the Eastman School of Music (M.M., 1949) where he studied with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson.

During his musical studies at Louisiana State University Williams joined the fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the largest, oldest musical fraternity in America.


In 1949 Williams joined the composition department at the University of Texas School of Music. He taught there until he was appointed Chair of the Theory and Composition Department at University of Miami in 1966. Williams retained this position until his death in 1976. His composition students included W. Francis McBeth, Lawrence Weiner and John Barnes Chance.


Williams' early compositions were for orchestra and he would later achieve great success writing for concert band. He won the inaugural American Bandmasters Association's Ostwald Award for original band literature in 1956 for his first band composition, Fanfare and Allegro. Williams won the award again in 1957 for Symphonic Suite. The San Antonio Symphony commissioned Williams to compose a work for its 25th anniversary. He composed five symphonic dances which he would later arrange for concert band.

The following is a partial list of band compositions by Clifton Williams:

  • Academic Processional
  • Air Force Band of the West
  • Andalusia
  • Arioso
  • Band of the Hour
  • Border Festival
  • Caccia and Chorale
  • Castle Gap
  • Concertino for Percussion and Band
  • Dedicatory Overture
  • Dramatic Essay
  • Fanfare and Allegro
  • Festival
  • Future Music Leaders of America March
  • Henderson Festival
  • Hermitage
  • Killian
  • Laredo
  • Lyric Psalm
  • March Lamar
  • Pandean Fable
  • Pastorale
  • Patriots
  • Puerto Vallarta Festival
  • Ramparts
  • Regal Procession
  • The Sinfonians
  • Solumn Fugue
  • Sonata Allegro
  • Songs of Heritage
  • Strategic Air Command March
  • Symphonic Dances
No. 1 (Comanche Ritual)
No. 2 (Military Ball: The Maskers)
No. 3 (Fiesta)
No. 4 (Square Dance)
No. 5 (New Generation)
  • Symphonic Essays
  • Symphonic Suite
I. Intrada
II. Chorale
III. March
IV. Antique Dance
V. Jubilee
  • Texas Bands
  • Trail Scenes
  • Trilogy for Band
I. Declamation
II. Elegy
III. Quickstep March
  • Variation Overture

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Clifton Williams. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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