Clifton Williams

From Wind Repertory Project
Clifton Williams


James Clifton Williams Jr. (23 March 1923, Traskwood, Ark. – 12 February 1976, Miami, Fla.) was an American composer.

Williams began playing French horn, piano, and mellophone in the band at Little Rock (Arkansas) High School. 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.

Clifton Williams 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. 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 and John Barnes Chance.

Clifton Williams received the prestigious Ostwald Award in 1956 for his first composition for band, Fanfare and Allegro. He repeated his success in 1957 when he won again with his Symphonic Suite. In addition to his many other honors, those most recently listed include election to membership in the American Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Music Fraternity of America, and the honorary degree of Doctor of Music conferred by the National Conservatory of Music at Lima, Peru.

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