After 38 years, Professor John "Jack" Williamson, Director of Bands is retiring from CMU. During his tenure, Jack has directed the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, CMU Chamber Winds and has guided all aspects of the CMU Band and Graduate Conducting Programs. Before joining CMU, Williamson was conductor at Wheeling (IL) High School, where his wind ensemble gained national recognition and performed across the United States, including a performance at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Williamson's love of music began at a young age. He studied clarinet with his father, and later with Jerome Stowell of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Adjudicator, Clinician and Guest Conductor
Williamson has traveled nationwide serving as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor with additional appearances in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia. He has received praise for his interpretations from such leading composers as Michael Colgrass, Karel Husa, H. Owen Reed, David Maslanka, Augusta Read Thomas and David Gillingham. Soloists he has accompanied throughout the years include Adolph Herseth, Dale Clevenger and Michael Henoch of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Awards, Associations and Publications
Williamson's honors abound on and off campus. He received CMU's Excellence in Teaching Award as well as the Orpheus Award from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. In addition to being listed in the International Who's Who in Music, Williamson has twice received the NBA Citation of Excellence and was the first Illinois director to receive the "MAC" Award from First Chair of America.
A member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, National Band Association and Phi Mu Alpha, Williamson has also held offices in the College Band Directors National Association and is head of the Commissioning Project for the Mid-American Conference Band Directors Association.
Williamson has been a longtime new music reviewer for The Instrumentalist, BD Guide and Band magazines and is co-author of "Strategies for Teaching High School Band" published by MENC.
He is the author of "Rehearsing the Band" published by Neidig Services, which is now in its third printing in response to national and international demand.
Final CMU Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concert
Professor Williamson's final CMU Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in Staples Family Concert Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.