John Barnes Chance

From Wind Repertory Project
John Barnes Chance


John Barnes "Barney" Chance (1932, Beaumont, Texas - 1972, Lexington, Kentucky) was an American composer.

Chance began composing while attending Beaumont High School (Beaumont, Texas) where he performed on percussion in the school band and orchestra under the direction of Arnold Whedbee. It was during this time that he wrote his first symphony (for orchestra), which was premiered by Whedbee during his senior year.[1]

He received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Texas, where he studied with Clifton Williams, Kent Kennan, and Paul Pisk. After studies at the University of Texas, Chance played with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and also performed with the Fourth U.S. Army Band in San Antonio and the Eighth U.S. Army Band in Korea.

After leaving the army, Chance was selected by the Ford Foundation to be a part of the Young Composers Project. From 1960 through 1962 he was composer-in-residence at the Greensboro, North Carolina, public schools. It is there that he composed seven pieces for school ensembles including his first work for wind band. Throughout his short career, Chance composed for band, orchestra, chorus, chamber groups and solo instruments.

His career was tragically ended when he was accidentally electrocuted in the back yard of his home in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1972 at the age of 40.

Works for Wind Band


  • John Barnes Chance. Wikipedia. Accessed 12 July 2022
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. (2010). Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 590.
  • Bell, John R. "Symphony No. 2." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 703-708. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
  • The Ostwald Prize Archives
  1. Conversation with Jimmy Simmons, band director at Beaumont High School in the 1960s.