Davis honored by U.S. Army Band
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) -- Composer and Southwestern Seminary professor William Mac Davis earned a venue of international scope just across the Potomac River from the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 28. The U.S. Army Band dedicated a concert to his compositions at Fort Myer, Va., during the U.S. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference, Jan. 26-29.
Davis said this was an unexpected honor and traveled to the conference last weekend to gather with euphonium and tuba players from all over the world who assemble yearly to hear new music and attend master classes hosted by the band.
Davis wrote one of the featured compositions, “Rondo Concertante,” with Donald Palmire, (M.M. 1994), in mind. Palmire is the principal euphonist in the U.S. Army Band and this year’s concert chairman.
“I was conducting the wind ensemble here at Southwestern, and he was in my group, and it was obvious he was very good,” Davis said. “Sometimes when I’m around a performer who is exceptional, I write something for them, so I did, and we did it on tour and a few other places around, and it just sort of took off from there.”
U.S. Army Band tuba player Tim Royster also attended Southwestern. “You’d never expect a school of church music to have two principal instrumentalists in one of the most famous bands in the world,” Davis said.
The conference featured several of Davis’ original compositions—“Tuba Sonata” (written for Royster), “Diversion,” “Divertimento,” and the “Roaring Fork Trilogy”—as well as his rendering of the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision.”
Davis serves as professor of music theory and composition, associate dean for the performance division, and chair of the music theory and composition department at Southwestern. He has been honored by the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) every year since 1994, earning the ASCAPLUS award in honor of “the unique prestige value of each writer’s catalogue of original composition.”
In addition to teaching and composing, Davis has served his local congregation, Southcliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, as their orchestra director since 1995.