William Wood, Composer-in-Residence and Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of New Mexico 1971-2008, holds a degree in woodwind performance from Sacramento State College in California, and a master's degree in composition from the University of Oregon, where he studied with Norman Lockwood. He was a student of Aaron Copland and Wolfgang Fortner while in residence at the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood in 1961 and went on to earn a doctoral degree in composition in 1965 from the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Wood has taught at Sacramento State College, Eastern Washington State College, Yakima (Washington) Valley College and Wright State University (Dayton).
An active jazz saxophonist—combos, big band, various jazz ensembles—Wood has been a lead alto player for many back-up bands for a wide range of performers, including Mel Torme, Nancy Wilson, Paul Horn, the Temptations, and the Supremes. His interest in jazz is frequently reflected in his compositions, which derive much of their energy and character from the heavily accented syncopated rhythms so prevalent in jazz.
Dr. Wood has received numerous awards and honors, including a prize at the 1966 Prague Spring International Competition for Composers, and has fulfilled many commissions, including two compositions written for the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Chamber players, the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Brass Quintet, the Ensemble of Santa Fe, the New Mexico Music Teachers Association and the International Trumpet Guild. His nearly sixty compositions include orchestral and chamber orchestra works, a wide variety of chamber works and jazz compositions.
Wood’s music has been performed at the Madrid Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Town Hall (New York), Tanglewood, and by the New Mexico Chamber Orchestra, the Birmingham Symphony, the Nashville Little Symphony, the Eastman-Rochester Symphony, the Prague Symphony and the Spokane Symphony, as well as in many concerts at the University of New Mexico. His piece “Brass Work,” written for the New Mexico Brass Quintet, was heard on that ensemble’s tour to Italy, Germany and the Southeastern United States. Dr. Wood’s music may be heard on Opus One Records.
20th Century Clarinet