Rosedene School, Gainsborough Township, Ontario


Rosedene One-Room Schoolhouse

Gainsborough Township

Ontario, Canada

This old one-room School House at Rosedene, Ontario, Canada, was an impressive brick structure built in 1896. It had colored glass fans in the windows, and interesting decorative brickwork.  In 1965, like all the other one-room school houses in the Gainsborough Twp. school district (including “Schram School”), the students were moved to the new Gainsborough Central School at Bismark.  Some information for this is from the book “West Lincoln, Our Links to the Past” and published by the W.L. Historical Society, 1985.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier and hisIncidental Music


Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 –February 24, 1704) was a French composer of the Baroque era, who, exceptionally prolific and versatile, produced compositions of the highest quality in several genres, and whose mastery in writing sacred vocal music, above all, was recognized and hailed by his contemporaries.  Charpentier was born in 1643 at or near Paris, France, the son of a master scribe who had very good connections to influential families in the Parlement of Paris.   Marc-Antoine received a very good education, perhaps with the help of the Jesuits, and registered for law school in Paris when he was eighteen but withdrew after one semester. He spent “two or three years” in Rome, probably between 1667 and 1669, and studied with Giacomo Carissimi. He is also known to have been in contact with poet-musician Charles Coypeau d’Assoucy, who was composing for the French Embassy in Rome.

A legend claims that Charpentier initially traveled to Rome to study painting before he was discovered by Carissimi. This story is undocumented and possibly untrue; at any rate, although his 28 volumes of autograph manuscripts reveal considerable skill at tracing the arabesques used by professional scribes, they contain not a single drawing, not even a rudimentary sketch. Regardless, he acquired a solid knowledge of contemporary Italian musical practice and brought it back to France.  Immediately on his return to France, Charpentier probably began working as house composer to Marie de Lorraine, duchesse de Guise, who was known familiarly as “Mlle de Guise.” She gave him an “apartment” in the recently renovated Hôtel de Guise – strong evidence that Charpentier was not a paid domestic who slept in a small room in the vast residence, but was instead a courtier who occupied one of the new apartments in the stable wing.

For the next seventeen years, Charpentier composed a considerable quantity of vocal works for her, among them Psalm settings, hymns, motets, a Magnificat setting, a mass and a Dies Irae for the funeral of her nephew Louis Joseph, Duke of Guise, and a succession of Italianate oratorios set to non-liturgical Latin texts. Charpentier preferred the Latin canticum to the Italian term, oratorio.. Throughout the 1670s, the bulk of these works were for trios. The usual trio was two women and a singing bass, plus two treble instruments and continuo; but when performance in the chapel of a male monastic community required male voices, he would write for an haute-contre, a tenor and a bass, plus the same instruments. Then, about 1680, Mlle de Guise increased the size of the ensemble, until it included 13 performers and a singing teacher. In the pieces written from 1684 until late 1687, the names of the Guise musicians appear as marginalia in Charpentier’s manuscripts – including “Charp” beside the haute-contre line.  Étienne Loulié, the senior instrumentalist who played keyboard, recorder and viole, probably was entrusted with coaching the newer instrumentalists.

Despite what is often asserted, during his seventeen years in the service of Mlle de Guise, Charpentier was not the “director” of the Guise ensemble. The director was a gentleman of Mlle de Guise’s court, an amateur musician, Italophile, and Latinist named Philippe Goibaut, familiarly called Monsieur Du Bois. Owing to Mlle de Guise’s love for Italian music (a passion she shared with Du Bois), and her frequent entertaining of Italians passing through Paris, there was little reason for Charpentier to conceal the Italianisms he had learned in Rome.  During his years of service to Mlle de Guise, Charpentier also composed for “Mme de Guise,” Louis XIV’s first cousin.  It was in large part owing to Mme de Guise’s protection that the Guise musicians were permitted to perform Charpentier’s chamber operas in defiance of the monopoly held by Jean Baptiste Lully. Most of the operas and pastorales in French, which date from 1684 to 1687, appear to have been commissioned by Mme de Guise for performance at court entertainments during the winter season; but Mlle de Guise doubtlessly included them in the entertainments she sponsored several times a week in her palatial Parisian residence.

By late 1687, Mlle de Guise was dying. Around that time, Charpentier entered the employ of the Jesuits. Indeed, he is not named in the princess’s will of March 1688, nor in the papers of her estate, which is strong evidence that she had already rewarded her loyal servant and approved of his departure.  During his seventeen-odd years at the Hôtel de Guise, Charpentier had written almost as many pages of music for outside commissions as he had for Mlle de Guise. He routinely copied these outside commissions in notebooks with Roman numerals. For example, after Molière’s falling out with Jean-Baptiste Lully in 1672, Charpentier had begun writing incidental music for the spoken theater of Molière. It probably was owing to pressure on Molière exerted by Mlle de Guise and by young Mme de Guise that the playwright took the commission for incidental music for Le Malade imaginaire away from Dassoucy and gave it to Charpentier. After Molière’s death in 1673, Charpentier continued to write for the playwright’s successors, Thomas Corneille and Jean Donneau de Visé. Play after play, he would compose pieces that demanded more musicians than the number authorized by Lully’s monopoly over theatrical music. By 1685, the troop ceased flouting these restrictions. Their capitulation ended Charpentier’s career as a composer for the spoken theater.

In 1679, Charpentier had been singled out to compose for Louis XIV’s son, the Dauphin.   Writing primarily for the prince’s private chapel, he composed devotional pieces for a small ensemble composed of royal musicians: the two Pièche sisters singing with a bass named Frizon, and instruments played by the two Pièche brothers. It was, in short, an ensemble that, with Mlle de Guise’s permission, could perform works that he had earlier composed for the Guises. By early 1683, when he was awarded a royal pension, Charpentier was being commissioned to write for court events such as the annual Corpus Christi procession. In April of that year, he became so ill that he had to withdraw from the competition for the sub-mastership of the royal chapel. Speculations that he withdrew because he knew he would not win seem disproved by his autograph notebooks: he wrote nothing at all from April through mid-August of that year, strong evidence that he was too ill to work.

From late 1687 to early 1698, Charpentier served as maître de musique (music master) to the Jesuits, working first for their collège of Louis-le-Grand, for which he wrote David et Jonathas and where he was still employed in April 1691, and then for the church of Saint-Louis adjacent to the order’s professed house on the rue Saint-Antoine.   Once he moved to Saint-Louis, Charpentier virtually ceased writing oratorios and instead primarily wrote musical settings of psalms and other liturgical texts such as the Litanies of Loreto. During his years at Saint-Louis, his works tended to be for large ensembles that included paid singers from the Royal Opera. In addition, during these years Charpentier succeeded Étienne Loulié as music teacher to Philippe, Duke of Chartres.

Charpentier was appointed maître de musique for the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris in 1698, a royal post he held until his death in 1704.  One of his most famous compositions during his tenure was the Mass Assumpta Est Maria (H. 11). That this work survived suggests that it was written for another entity, an entity that was entitled to call upon the musicians of the Chapel and reward them for their efforts. Indeed, virtually none of Charpentier’s compositions from 1690 to 1704 have survived, because when the maître de musique died, the royal administration routinely confiscated everything he had written for the Chapel. Charpentier died on February 24, 1704, at Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, and was buried in the little walled-in cemetery just behind the choir of the chapel (the cemetery no longer exists).

In 1727, Charpentier’s heirs sold his autograph manuscripts (28 folio volumes) to the Royal Library, today the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Commonly known as the Mélanges, or Meslanges, and now available as facsimiles published by Minkoff-France, these manuscripts were divided by Charpentier himself into two series of notebooks – one bearing Arabic numbers and the other Roman numbers, and each notebook numbered chronologically. These manuscripts (and their watermarks) have permitted scholars not only to date his compositions but also to determine the events for which many of these works were written. Charpentier’s compositions were catalogued by Hugh Wiley Hitchcock in his Les œuvres de Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Catalogue Raisonné, (Paris: Picard, 1982); references to works are often accompanied by their H (for Hitchcock) number.  The prelude to his Te Deum, H. 146, a rondo, is the signature tune for the European Broadcasting Union, heard in the opening credits of Eurovision events. This theme was also the intro to The Olympiad films of Bud Greenspan.  Any family relationship between him and Gustave Charpentier, the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century French opera composer, is highly unlikely.

The following works by Marc Antoine Charpentier are contained in my collection:

Le Mariage Force (1664): Incidental Music.

Les Fous Divertissants (1680): Incidental Music.

“Spanking” (by Jarrod Jacobs)


by Jarrod Jacobs (7/8/12)

jarrod jacobs_151_15_0_13

[Editor’s note:  Jarrod Jacobs is a gospel preacher and a homeschooling father who labors with the church of Christ at 101 N. Main Street in Caneyville, KY.]

It must have been a slow news week this last week, because I heard of two news stories where people were weighing the “pros and cons” of spanking children as a punishment for misbehavior. The issue of “corporal punishment,” and specifically the spanking of children when they misbehave and disobey, has become a subject of controversy as more and more in our society wish to stray from what God considers necessary in proper parenting; and instead following their own whims, or the thoughts of so-called “educated” men.

Man’s philosophy and thinking wants to tell us that spanking children hurts their egos, leads to depression, and countless other maladies. Is this right? Since God has our best interests in mind in the Bible, it seems strange to me that God would encourage us to do something that would harm future generations.

The Bible Speaks Of God’s Punishment Of Man.

There are occasions when it is said that God punishes His children. This punishment is compared to an earthly father punishing a son. We read about this in Hebrews 12:6-12. The writer notes that just as our fathers punished us, and we came to respect them, so also, let us respect our Father in Heaven when He corrects us! In the book of Proverbs,  we also read about God’s punishment when Solomon says, “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights” (Prov. 3:11-12).

The Bible’s Instruction Concerning Spanking.

In like manner, just as it is appropriate for God to punish His children at times, so also our physical children need corrected and punished when they break the rules of the house. When reading Scripture, we find some of the clearest words concerning this subject as has ever been written on any Bible subject! The Lord says:

“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” (Prov. 13:24).

“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Prov. 19:28).

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Prov. 22:15).

“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (Prov. 23:13-14).

“The rod and reproof give wisdom:  but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame …. Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul” (Prov. 29:15, 17).

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).

Many other passages could be added to our study, but these show us God’s thoughts on the matter of “corporal punishment.” When studying these texts, it is interesting to note that the English word translated “rod” is actually a word that could have just as easily been translated as: “switch”! Have we ever had a “switch” used on us? This is the idea. The Lord says when a switch is applied to a child (“rod of correction”) it will produce wonderful results such as: drive away foolishness,  give parents rest and delight, and ultimately deliver a soul from Hell (Prov. 22:15, 29:15, 17, 23:1314)! Doing things the Lord’s way produces godly, balanced and “functional” families, not dysfunctional ones! To neglect to obey the Lord in this area of parenting is not to show love, but to show hatred for a child (Prov. 13:24)!


Just like every other command in the Bible, we can find those who are abusing this rule. They are in sin and wrong for abusing God’s plan. Yet, let not those who sin deter those who are trying to do what is right! Applying the Lord’s rules of instruction and correction produces obedient, well-mannered children who respect authority. It has been proven time and again throughout history that when we do things the Lord’s way, then blessing comes. Let us not deprive our children and grandchildren of blessings! Correct them!

(In The Old Paths; Volume 19, Issue 19; July 8, 2012)

George Templeton Strong and “Chorale on a Theme of Leo Hassler”


George Templeton Strong (May 26, 1856 – June 27, 1948) was an American composer of classical music and a professional painter whose work has been described as Romantic.   Strong was born on May 26, 1856. in New York City, NY, to George Templeton Strong, an attorney, and Ellen (Ruggles) Strong. The family was musical.  Both parents were amateur musicians, and his father was on the board of the New York Philharmonic Society.  The senior Strong was active in the community and helped found the United States Sanitary Commission during the American Civil War. He has been notable for the literary quality of his voluminous diary, which he kept most of his life. With early musical promise, the son was given lessons and training. While the father hoped his son would follow him in the law, the younger Strong went to Europe for study at the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany, where he was a pupil of Salomon Jadassohn and Richard Hofmann, together with many European musicians who became prominent in the next decades.

As a result, Strong was early estranged from his father.  After he returned to the United States, Strong began his composing career and became reconciled with his father .before the father’s death in 1875. In 1897 Strong moved to Vevey, Switzerland, on Lake Geneva. He taught for a few years at the New England Conservatory of Music, by invitation of Edward MacDowell, but returned to Switzerland because of ill health. For the next several years he studied watercolor painting seriously and worked as a professional artist. About 1912, he moved to Geneva, where he began to compose music again. He lived in Geneva for the rest of his life and painted seriously for thirty years.  On June 27, 1948, Strong died in Geneva, where he had lived for more than thirty years. Although he had most of his career in Europe after moving to Switzerland in the late nineteenth century, Strong is considered an American composer.

The following works by George Templeton Strong are contained in my collection:

Chorale on a Theme of Leo Hassler for string instruments (1929).

Die Nacht, Four Little Symphonic Poems (1913).

From a Notebook of Sketches Suite No. 1 (1942).

From a Notebook of Sketches Suite No. 2, Athens (1942).

From a Notebook of Sketches Suite No. 3 (1942).

Le Roi Arthur, Symphonic Poem (1916).

Ondine, Symphonic Poem (1883).

Symphony No. 2 in gm, op. 50, “Sintram” (1888).

Marin Marais and “Suite in e minor”


Marin Marais (May 31, 1656–August 15, 1728) was a French composer and viol player.   Born on May 31, 1656, in Paris, France, he studied composition with Jean-Baptiste Lully, often conducting his operas, and with master of the bass viol Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe for six months. As with Sainte-Colombe, little of Marin Marais’ personal life is known after he reached adulthood.   Marais married a Parisian, Catherine d’Amicourt, on  September 2, 1676. They had 19 children together, including the composer Roland Marais (c. 1685 – c. 1750).

In 1676 Marais was hired as a musician to the royal court of Versailles and was moderately successful there, being appointed in 1679 as ordinaire de la chambre du roy pour la viole, a title he kept until 1725.  Marais was a master of the viol, and the leading French composer of music for the instrument. He wrote five books of Pièces de viole (1686–1725) for the instrument, generally suites with basso continuo. These were quite popular in the court, and for these he was remembered in later years as he who “founded and firmly established the empire of the viol” (Hubert Le Blanc, 1740). His other works include a book of Pièces en trio (1692) and four operas (1693–1709), Alcyone (1706) being noted for its tempest scene.

Titon du Tillet included Marais in Le Parnasse françois, making the following comments on two of his pieces, Le Labyrinthe, perhaps inspired by the labyrinth of Versailles, and La Gamme:  A piece from his fourth book entitled The Labyrinth, which passes through various keys, strikes various dissonances and notes the uncertainty of a man caught in a labyrinth through serious and then quick passages; he comes out of it happily and finishes with a gracious and natural chaconne. But he surprised musical connoisseurs even more successfully with his pieces called La Gamme [The Scale], which is a piece de symphonie that imperceptibly ascends the steps of the octave; one then descends, thereby going through harmonious songs and melodious tones, the various sounds of music.

Facsimiles of all five books of Marais’ Pièces de viole were published by Éditions J.M. Fuzeau.  A complete critical edition of his instrumental works in seven volumes, edited by John Hsu, was published by Broude Brothers.  Marais is credited with being one of the earliest composers of program music.  His work The Bladder-Stone Operation, for viola da gamba and harpsichord, includes composer’s annotations such as “The patient is bound with silken cords” and “He screameth.”  Even though gall-bladder operations were not performed until the late 19th century, urinary bladder surgery to remove stones was already a medical specialty in Paris in the 17th century.  Marais died in Paris on August 15, 1728.

My collection includes the following works by Marin Marais:

Les Folies D’Espagne, 32 Variations (1701).

Suite in a Foreign Style (1717): Le Labrinthe.

Suite in em (1701).

Countryman Family One Room Schoolhouse, Brooksville, FL

countryman school-house2

Countryman Family One Room Schoolhouse

66 Russell St.

Brooksville, FL 34601

Gretchen Countryman worked for 14 years to raise enough money to build a replica one-room schoolhouse in Hernando County, FL, that will provide residents a window into the past. Countryman and others with the Hernando Historical Museum Association broke ground on the project in January of 2014 at the museum’s property on Russell Street in Brooksville. Construction of the building, by Paul C. Beasley and his Treelawn Builders of Brooksville, was completed in May.  The schoolhouse, a simple 24- by 32-foot rectangle, is located next to the association’s restored railroad depot at Russell Street Park.  She wanted to try to save and restore a one-room schoolhouse in the county. She looked all around, but couldn’t find any. All of the 17 or so that dotted the region in the 1890s had disappeared.  Most one-room schools across America closed with the advent of consolidation in the early 1950s. And most eventually disappeared, particularly in Florida, where termites and weather decimated the old frame buildings.  The new schoolhouse is loosely modeled after a single-room school built by the Lykes family in the mid to late 1800s, circa 1885. There is a bell on the top of the roof, and a well in the front of the property.  Sponsored by the Brooksville-Hernando Historical Heritage Museum Association, the roughly $60,000 schoolhouse is a living history museum, complete with weekly tours, and it can also be used for meetings and events.

The new 850-square-foot frame structure with stone pillars, front porch, and corrugated metal roof features an eye-opening egress once inside the front door. Boys are directed into the classroom from one side, girls from the other.  A pot-bellied stove sits in one corner while a nearby stand holds a stout water jug — items the teacher had to tend and fill first thing each morning.  A teacher’s desk and chair face 28 student desks, each provided with a replica slate and chalk. A world globe, a set of reproduction maps and reproduction student books, including the then-ubiquitous McGuffey Readers, round out the supplies.  Matching indigenous lumber of the era, the building’s floorboards are of Western pine. The chair rail that encompasses the room was sawed and lathed from a huge chinaberry tree cut down to make way for the schoolhouse. Outdoors hangs an 1886 school bell, an original that rang students to class at various Hernando County schools, lastly at Brooksville Elementary. Bowing to sanitation and environmental needs, the side yard standard privy has been supplanted with a flushing restroom. The frame structure, painted to match the schoolhouse, also will serve adjacent Russell Park, the nearby Brooksville Railroad Depot Museum, and the Good Neighbor Trail, which traverses the back of the property. The cluster of attractions will provide an enticing destination, not only for tourists, but also for school field trips,

countryman school house

Andreas Hammerschmidt and his Suites


Andreas Hammerschmidt (1611 or 1612 – 29 October 1675), the “Orpheus of Zittau,” was a German Bohemian composer and organist of the early to middle Baroque era, who was one of the most significant and popular composers of sacred music in Germany in the middle 17th century.  Hammerschmidt  was born in 1611 or 1612 at Brüx, a small Protestant community in Bohemia, to a Saxon father and a Bohemian mother. In 1626 the family had to flee Bohemia, during the Thirty Years’ War, after it had become Catholic; they settled in Freiberg, Saxony, where Andreas must have received his musical education. He probably did not study with composer Christoph Demantius, who was Kantor at Freiberg and the most significant musician in the city while Hammerschmidt was there; however, he may have known him. Many famous musicians of the early Baroque spent time in Freiberg but it is uncertain which of them taught Hammerschmidt; at any rate he received a superb musical training while there.

Hammerschmidt left Freiberg in 1633, through his mentor Stephan Otto, taking a post as organist for Count Rudolf von Bünau in Weesenstein, but returned to Freiberg the next year as an organist. He was married shortly after his return there, and of his six children three died in infancy. In 1639 he left Freiberg again, moving to Zittau, where he succeeded Christoph Schreiber as organist; he remained in Zittau at this post for the rest of his life. While musical life in Zittau was severely damaged by the Thirty Years’ War, including the decimation of the choirs and general reduction in musical standards, Hammerschmidt survived; after the end of the war in 1648 musical life slowly regained its former high standard.

Exact records of Hammerschmidt’s activities in Zittau are spotty, for the documents were burned in 1757 when the city was destroyed by the Austrians in the Seven Years’ War; however Hammerschmidt during this portion of his career became one of the best-known composers in Germany, and the most famous representative of the concertato style of the generation after Heinrich Schütz. While well-respected and called on as an expert in many matters, he seems to have been prone to outbursts of rage, some of which involved him in brawls. He also seems to have profited well from his activities as a musician and civic leader, and evidently lived in some luxury, having a house in town as well as a country estate.

Hammerschmidt wrote motets, concertos, and arias, and almost all of his output is sacred vocal music in the concertato style.  Many of his compositions are in the form of the chorale monody, an adaptation of the early Baroque Italian form to a sacred, and specifically Protestant, purpose. Indeed Hammerschmidt represents the second generation of composers who distilled a native German Baroque tradition out of forms and styles imported from Italy.  Over 400 works by Hammerschmidt survive, in a total of 14 separate collections. The motets represent a more conservative style, as noted by Hammerschmidt himself, and the concertos—concertato pieces with opposing groups of voices and instruments—are in a current idiom.

Some of Hammerschmidt’s concertos are written for large ensembles, with diverse combinations of instruments and voices (for example, the sets from Gespräche über die Evangelia of 1655–1656; this was long enough after the war that large ensembles were available again). He wrote these pieces for Sundays and church feast days; their structure and intent foreshadowed the later German church cantata, as exemplified most famously by Johann Sebastian Bach. Even Hammerschmidt’s masses conform to the concertato style, and are best seen as concertos.

While Hammerschmidt was an organist all of his life, no organ music of his has survived; indeed there is no evidence he published any. Some instrumental music of his has survived in three publications; most of these are suites of dances influenced by the English style which was prevalent in the northern part of Germany at that time.  Hammerschmidt died on October 29, 1675, at Zittau, Germany.

My collection includes the following works by Andreas Hammerschmidt:

Suite in d m for Gambas.

Suite in g m for Gambas.

Suite in g m for Winds.

Suite in d m for Strings, Gambas, and Winds.

Chattanooga Home School Student to Show Work at New York Fashion Week

Chattanooga Home School Student to Show Work at New York Fashion Week

by Casey Phillips

Editor’s note: This article taken from the Chattanooga, TN, Times Free Press ran initially on the “Homeschooling News” section of HSLDA on June 26, 2012.

Some people look at a dress and see only a dress. When Brandon Carruth looks at a dress — his own design, anyway — he sees a colorful statement wrought in fabric.

At 15, the East Brainerd teen has been pursuing an interest in fashion design for only 18 months, but he said he quickly determined that he could achieve more with his work than just covering skin.

“I want people … to be able to relate to the collection,” he said. “To me, it’s not just fabric and a sewing machine — it’s art.”

Read More:

Clifton Williams and “The Strategic Air Command”


James Clifton Williams Jr. (March 26, 1923—February 12, 1976) was an American composer, pianist, French hornist, mellophonist, music theorist, conductor, and teacher, who was known by symphony patrons as a virtuoso French hornist with the symphony orchestras of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Houston, Oklahoma City, and Austin and San Antonio, TX, and as a young composer was honored with performances of Peace, A Tone Poem and A Southwestern Overture by the Houston and Oklahoma City symphony orchestras, respectively.   Born on March 26, 1923, at Traskwood, Arkansas, Williams began playing French horn, piano, and mellophone in his childhood and played in the band at Little Rock High School. His senior class of 600 voted him as most outstanding in artistry, talent, and versatility.

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Williams left school after completing his first year at Louisiana Tech University to enlist in the United States Army Air Corps for the duration of World War II. He attended the Army Music School and then served in the 679th Army Air Corps (AAC) band at Louisiana’s Selman Field and the 619th AAC band at Houston’s Ellington AFB, even while composing in his spare time. A sympathetic officer recognized and encouraged Williams’s diverse musical talents, including arranging and composing, and the onetime private ultimately left the service with the rank of staff sergeant.  In 1947, having returned to civilian life and his musical studies, he married Maxine Holmes Friar of Beaumont, Texas.

Williams was graduated from Louisiana State University (B.M., 1947), where he was a pupil of Helen M. Gunderson (1909–1997). During his post-war studies at Louisiana State University, Williams joined the fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the largest and oldest musical fraternity in America. Later he would honor the fraternity with a symphonic concert march, The Sinfonians, that remains a staple of the concert band repertory today.  He then attended the Eastman School of Music (M.M., 1949), where he studied with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. It was Hanson who counseled Williams to write for wind band rather than the orchestra, advising him that he would get larger audiences, and a larger range of organizations to perform his music, by doing so.

On completing his studies in 1949, Clifton Williams joined the composition department of the School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. Williams’ early compositions were for orchestra, but he would later achieve his greatest success writing for concert band. One of his earliest works, Fanfare and Allegro, was completed in 1954 but was considered, at the time, exceptionally difficult by the bands (including some military bands) that attempted to perform it. In particular, a military band struggled mightily with the work at a performance at the 1954 Brownsville, Texas Music Festival. Thus, Williams laid the work aside for some time. The American Bandmasters Association then announced its first Ostwald Composition Prize in the winter of 1955. Williams slightly revised Fanfare and Allegro and entered it into this contest. Fanfare and Allegro won the inaugural American Bandmasters Association’s Ostwald Award for original band literature in 1956. The first performance of the revised work, at the 1956 ABA convention, won rave reviews and the work moved rapidly to the forefront of serious wind literature.

Williams won the award again in 1957 for his Symphonic Suite.  He entered the competition for a third time in 1958 with an earlier work, his Symphonic Essays of 1953, but withdrew from the competition the day before the winner was to be announced, feeling that winning a new competition a third consecutive time would discourage other equally worthy composers. It was not revealed until several years later that Symphonic Essays was, in fact, set to be the winner of the 1958 ABA prize.  He taught U.T. Austin until, in 1966, he was appointed Chair of the Theory and Composition Department at University of Miami School of Music. Williams retained this position until his death from cancer in 1976. His composition students included W. Francis McBeth, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Sheldon, Kenneth Fuchs, Ron Miller, Robert X. Rodriguez, Thomas Wells, Gordon Richard Goodwin, and John Barnes Chance. He was a close colleague of fellow composer Alfred Reed while the two worked at the University of Miami, their offices being only steps apart in the music building at UM.

The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation commissioned Williams to compose a work celebrating the 25th anniversary of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra (circa its 1964–1965 season). He composed a set of five symphonic dances, of which he would later transcribe two for concert band: Nr. 2, “The Maskers,” and Nr. 3, “Fiesta.”   Williams considered The Ramparts his favorite work. Commissioned by the United States Air Force Academy, the work contains an a cappella hymn, “What Greater Thing,” that has become the unofficial alma mater song and has been performed at every USAFA commencement ceremony since 1965.

Williams’s wife, Maxine, wore a charm bracelet adorned with six charms, each one representing a significant band work by her husband; the charm for The Ramparts made up the central piece.  Williams died on February 12, 1976, aged 52, in Miami, Florida.  He remains widely known as one of America’s accomplished composers for the wind ensemble and band repertory.The primary publishers of Williams’s wind music have included Southern Music, Summy Birchard, Piedmont, C. L. Barnhouse, and University of Miami Music Publications. More first-time publications were slated for the 2010s, some four decades after the composer’s death. As of 2011, ten more of his band compositions have been published by Maestro & Fox Music by arrangement with the composer’s estate.

The following work by Clifton Williams is contained in my collection:

The Strategic Air Command (1964).

Utica School, Lebanon, OH

Utica Warren

Utica School

Utica Road

Lebanon, OH

Utica is a small community within the Township of Clear Creek, Warren County, OH.  It is north of Lebanon, the county seat, east of Middletown, and south of Springboro.  It is not to be confused with the village of Utica located in Knox County, Ohio. The Utica School of Clear Creek Township, on the west side of Utica Rd, north of Old Rte. 122, was built in 1899.  After it was closed, it became a private residence.