Rountree Wind Symphony to perform tribute to James Clifton Williams on Oct. 20

October 9, 2013

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Rountree Wind Symphony will perform a tribute to James Clifton Williams, one of America’s leading wind ensemble composers, on Oct. 20 at the UW-Platteville Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m.

A professor at both the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of Miami, James Clifton Williams is regarded by many as a pioneer in the world of wind band music composition. He passed away in 1976.

The performance will feature Dr. Barry Ellis, director of bands at UW-Platteville, conductor; Dr. David Cooper, chair of the UW-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts, trumpet soloist; and UW-Platteville’s Singing Pioneers.

The musical tribute will include a selection of Williams’ works from “The Music and Art of J. Clifton Williams: Classics and Newly Discovered Gems,” the inaugural recording of UW-Platteville’s Rountree Wind Symphony ensemble, as well as other works by the composer that were not included on the recording.

“Williams can be credited for the development of concert band literature as a valid medium for serious expression,” said Ellis. “Many of his titles are considered standard repertoire for wind band.”

The recording of the CD in 2012 was the capstone to Ellis’ sabbatical research. Ellis first heard Williams’ work while attending a band concert with his father at a young age and credits the music of Williams as a defining moment in his musical career. According to Ellis, the CD recording is an excellent resource for band directors, especially for new directors.

UW-Platteville’s Rountree Wind Symphony ensemble is a professional ensemble comprised of wind and percussion faculty members, selected students and alumni and regional professional musicians from southern Wisconsin and eastern Iowa. “The ensemble is a great opportunity for a select number of students to play alongside both professors and wind band professionals,” said Ellis.

UW-Platteville’s Singing Pioneers is an advanced men's chorus conducted by Dr. Bob Demaree. The ensemble tours regularly and performs demanding repertoire showcasing a variety of historical genres and styles. Members of this ensemble also frequently sing with a mixed choir.

The cost of the performance is $10 for general admission and $5 for UW-Platteville students.

Contact: Barry Ellis, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1017,

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191,


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