Dr. W. Francis McBeth
is Professor of Music, Resident Composer and Chairman of the Theory-Composition Department at Ouachita University 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; he was 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.