Now available by special arrangement with Clifton Williams Publishers, Inc., these new editions for band are mainly from his early ouevre, but include also his final works.  The Postwar Prelude, composed at age twenty, already communicates the drama and raw expression found in his later works.  These editions offer a fascinating view into the development of the Williams style.

Clifton Williams speaks to the audience at a concert in New Rochelle, New York.

Louisiana State University where he was reunited with his high school band director, L. Bruce Jones. After graduating from college, he married and relocated to Rochester, N.Y. to begin work on his master’s degree at the Eastman School of Music. There he studied composition with Bernard Rogers and was greatly encouraged by Howard Hanson.

After completing his graduate studies in 1949, Clifton Williams began his seventeen year tenure at the University of Texas at Austin. He also played horn in the San Antonio Symphony (appearing more than thirty times as guest conductor) and the Austin Symphony. During his tenure at UT he produced a succession of compositions for orchestra and band.   He gained national recognition in 1956 when his Fanfare and Allegro won the first American Bandmaster’s Ostwald Award for band composition.  He followed in 1957 by winning the second ABA Ostwald Award for his Symphonic Suite. Although he enjoyed composing for orchestra and considered it “the greatest instrument,” Williams began concentrating most of his compositional energies to the creation of music for the wind band.

In 1966, Williams accepted a position as chairman of the department of theory and composition at the University of Miami where he remained until his death in 1976. Despite a heavy teaching load, Williams continued to compose on a limited basis. Commissions and interest from publishers were plentiful. An unusually gifted conductor, Williams’ skilled and stimulating interpretation of contemporary music kept him in ever increasing demand as a guest conductor, clinician and lecturer. Included among his many honors are election to membership in the American Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Professional Music Fraternity, and the honorary degree of Doctor of Music conferred by the National Conservatory of Music at Lima, Peru in 1964.  Williams’ health began to decline in 1974; his bladder cancer, diagnosed in 1970, had returned. Despite the persistent pain, he continued to compose and believed he would win his battle with cancer, but after 18 months of inexorable pain, he passed away just a few weeks short of his fifty-third birthday. His early and untimely death brought an end to one of the most creative talents in the wind band arena.

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POSTWAR PRELUDEPostwar_Prelude.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0
CAPRICE AMERICANACaprice_Americana.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
DRAMATIC VARIATIONSDramatic_Variations.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0
SONATA ALLEGROSonata_Allegro.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0
SHOW TUNEShow_Tune.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0
BAND’S MARCHLA_Tech.htmlLA_Tech.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0shapeimage_9_link_1
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James Clifton Williams (1923 – 1976) was a gifted musician who excelled in many areas: composer, conductor, clinician, teacher and mentor. Most widely acclaimed as a composer of serious music for the concert wind band, he composed in many forms, and his prizes, awards, and honors were numerous.  His compositions in this medium have become basic repertory for American, Canadian, European, and Japanese Bands.   He was a true product of the American school band movement and one of the most prolific composers of serious contemporary music for the wind band. Born in the small town of Traskwood, Arkansas, Williams spent his junior high and high school years in Little Rock. It was during these years that he began experimenting with composition. Among his most notable high school works were a symphony for orchestra and a composition for band performed as processional music at his own commencement.  After graduation, Williams attended Louisiana Tech University for one year and in 1942 joined the U.S. Air Force (Army Air Corps at that time) as a bandsman, for whom he composed many original works. After the war, he enrolled at

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