Variation Overture
by Clifton Williams

James Clifton Williams was born in Traskwood, Arkansas in 1923. His first musical experience was as a French Horn player in the school bands and orchestras of Malvern and Little Rock, Arkansas. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II, he studied composition at Louisiana State University with Helen Gunderson and at the Eastman School of Music with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. A member of the faculty at the University of Texas in Austin for seventeen years, he became chairman of the department of theory-composition at the University of Miami School of Music in 1966.

Year of Composition: 1990

Publisher: Ludwig Music

Grade: 3

Type of composition: Overture

Style: Theme and 3 Variations

Programming Suggestions: Variation Overture is a serious effort on the part of the writer to utilize mature techniques of composition within a simple framework. The theme with its contrasting idea is treated in four varied ways, resulting in a piece cast in the form of a concert overture and made cohesive by use of the variation principle.

Solo instruments: none

Anecdotal Notes: Numerous accidentals. All instruments have an extended upper and/or lower range. Uses Piccolo, Flute 3, E-flat Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, Oboe 2, Alto Clarinet, Cornet 3, Horn 3/4, Trombone 3, String Bass. Use of fermatas, slurs, staccatos, legatos, accents. 5 bar trill for upper woodwinds at m.133. No sharps or flats in key signature. Time signatures of 4/4, 3/4, 2/4. 184 measures.

Discography: Teaching Music Through Performance In Band Volume 4,” #5976280

Recording of "Variation Overture"