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American composer William Francis McBeth was born in Texas on 9 March 1933, and studied piano and trumpet. At Hardin-Simmons University he played in the wind band, travelling with the band to Europe, and played string bass in a jazz combo.
He is known for his works for wind band, which form the majority of his output, but he also wrote four symphonies and other orchestral music. His many awards include the Presley Award at Hardin-Simmons University and the Howard Hanson Prize at the Eastman School of Music for his Symphony No 3.
McBeth died in Arkadelphia on 6 January 2012, aged 78.