is a native New Yorker, born in 1921 in Manhattan. His parents loved good music and made it part of their daily lives; as a result, he was well acquainted with most of the standard symphonic and operatic repertoire while still in elementary school. Beginning formal training at the age of ten, he studied trumpet and was playing professionally by the time he was in High School. He worked with John Sacco in theory and harmony, and continued later as a scholarship student of Paul Yartin. Alfred Reed became deeply interested in the concert band and its music.
In 1953, Mr. Reed became conductor of the Baylor Symphony Orchestra at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, at the same time completing his academic work. His Masters thesis was the Rhapsody for Viola and Orchestra, which later was to win the Luria Prize. It received its first performance in 1959, and was subsequently published in 1966. During his two years at Baylor, he also became interested in the problems of educational music at all levels, especially in the development of repertoire materials for school bands, orchestras, and choruses. This led, in 1955, to his accepting the post of editor in a major publishing firm in New York
In 1966 he left this post to join the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Miami, holding a joint appointment in the Theory-Composition and Music Education departments, and to develop the unique (at the time) Music Industry degree program at that institution, of which he became director.
With over 250 published works for Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chorus, and various smaller chamber music groups, many of which have been on the required performance lists in this country for the past 20 years, Dr. Reed is one of the nation’s most prolific and frequently performed composers.
His work as a guest conductor and clinician has taken him to 49 states, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia and South America, and for many years, al least eight of his works have been on the required list of music for all concert bands in Japan, where he is the most frequently performed foreign composer today. He left New York for Miami, Florida, in 1960, where he has made his home ever since.