William Francis McBeth

From Wind Repertory Project
W. Francis McBeth


William Francis McBeth (9 March 1933, Ropesville, Texas – 6 January 2012, Arkadelphia, Arkansas) was a prolific American composer and educator who wrote for piano, choir, symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, and over thirty works for wind band.

McBeth was professor of music and resident composer at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, from 1957 until his retirement in 1996. In 1962, McBeth conducted the Arkansas All-State Band, with future president Bill Clinton playing in the tenor saxophone section. He served as the third conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra from 1970 until 1973 and was appointed Composer Laureate of the state of Arkansas by Governor Bob C. Riley in 1975, the first such honor in the United States.

His musical influences included Clifton Williams, Bernard Rogers, Howard Hanson, Kent Kennan, Wayne Barlow, and Macon Summerlin. The popularity of his works in the United States during the last half of the twentieth century led to many invitations and appearances as a guest conductor where he often conducted the premiere performances of his compositions, the majority of which were commissioned. His international reputation as a conductor and clinician had taken him to forty-eight states, three Canadian provinces, Japan, Europe, and Australia. At one time, his "Double Pyramid Balance System" was a widely used pedagogical tool in the concert band world.

Works for Winds

Adaptable Music

  • Battaglia (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Barber) (1967/2021)

All Wind Works