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W. Francis McBeth   

 *** Sigma Alpha Iota National Arts Associate

 Dr. McBeth died in January 2012.


William Francis McBethDr. McBeth is Professor of Music, Resident Composer and Chairman of the Theory-Composition Department at Ouachita University (pronounced wash-i-taw) in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and has held this position since 1957. Dr. McBeth was appointed to the Lena Trimble Shepperson Endowed Chair of Music by the president and trustees of Ouachita University in 1983. He was conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in Little Rock for many years until his retirement in 1973, whereupon he was elected Conductor Emeritus.

The most outstanding of his awards have been the Presley Award at Hardin-Simmons University the Howard Hanson Prize at the Eastman School of Music for his Third Symphony in 1963, recipient: of an ASCAP Special Award each consecutive year from 1965 to present, the American School Band Directors Association's Edwin Franko Goldman Award in 1983, elected Fellow of the American Wind and Percussion Artists by the National Band Association in 1984, National Citation from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity in 1985, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia's American Man of Music in 1988, Kappa Kappa Psi's National Service to Music Award in 1989, Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic's Medal of Honor in 1993 and Past President of the American Bandmasters Association. In 1975 McBeth was appointed Composer Laureate of the State of Arkansas by the Governor.

McBeth's formal training was received at Hardin-Simmons University, University of Texas and the Eastman School of Music. He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, Past President, American Bandmasters Association, 1993-94, National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha, Tri-M Honorary Music Society, contributing editor of The Instrumentalist Magazine and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. The majority of his published catalog (music and books) is published by Southern Music Company of San Antonio, Texas. His publications include works for all media, choral, chamber, orchestral and band. His intense interest in the wind symphony has been a shaping force in its literature, and his style is much reflected in the younger composers.

As a player, McBeth has performed in Germany, France, Italy, England, Scotland and Iceland. As a composer, he has consistently been in the top group of the most performed American symphonic wind composers the past 30 years, and as a conductor and lecturer, he travels nine months of the year and has conducted in 48 of the 50 states, Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan.

Contact Information

1002 Village Drive
Arkadelphia, AR 71923
E-mail: wmcbeth@sbcglobal.net

Annual Updates




Mesilla Valley was introduced in 2009 by the Mesilla Valley Municipal Band.


Cavata was performed in April 2009 at Las Vegas (NV) Junior High, while Masque was heard in an April performance at Broward College, Davie, FL. Through Countless Halls of Air and The Sea Traders were broadcast in August over KTWU Radio, an NPR station in Tulsa, OK. Of Sailors and Whales was presented in September, in Kranenburg, Germany.


Mesilla Valley, for concert band; Southern Music Co.




W. Francis McBeth spent a busy year in 2007 as a clinician. He gave two clinics in February at the California All-State Convention in Fresno; several clinics and a concert in March at Christopher Newport University, Newport, VA; two clinics and a concert in April in Boise, ID; two clinics in May at the Iowa State Bandmasters Convention in Des Moines; and several clinics in June at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, WI.


Chase, commissioned by East Mecklenburg High School, conducted by Scott Clowes, Charlotte, NC.


Of Sailors and Whales by Boise (ID) State University; Chant and Jubilo, Masque, and Of Sailors and Whales by Christopher Newport University, Newport  (VA); and Dream Catcher, North Little
Rock (AR) Community Band, Arkansas Bandmasters Convention.


Chase; Southern Music Company.


The Creative World of Francis McBeth, choral music, by Vestige Audio of Baton Rouge, LA.

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