"Winning the first two Ostwald Awards may be singled out as the prime factor in achieving national recognition for my work as a composer of band music."
James Clifton Williams, Jr. (1923–1976), was one of America's leading wind ensemble composers and a virtuoso hornist with the San Antonio and New Orleans Symphony Orchestras.
Williams received his BM from Louisiana State University in 1947, where he studied with Helen M. Gunderson, and his MM from the Eastman School of Music in 1949, where he studied with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. He then served as composition faculty at the University of Texas School of Music and at the University of Miami School of Music, where he was chair of the theory and composition department until his death in 1976.
Williams won the first ABA Ostwald Award in 1956 for his Fanfare and Allegro and won the award the following year for his Symphonic Suite. Both pieces remain staples in the concert band repertoire.
Years after winning the first two ABA Ostwald Awards, Clifton Williams expressed his gratitude to the Ostwald family for setting up the award. In a letter to Adolph Ostwald from February 10, 1964, Williams wrote,
"It can be assumed that FANFARE & ALLEGRO might not have been published had it not won the award. However, the immediate and national recognition accorded my writing for the band received such impetus during 1956 that all my pieces for band written since that time (and some written before) have been readily published, by four different publishers. I believe that my recognition by reason of winning the Ostwald Award its first two years also contributed to promotion to higher rank in my position as a faculty member at the University of Texas, and led indirectly to the present demand for my services as a guest conductor of college and clinic bands throughout the country. Winning the first two Ostwald Awards may be singled out as the prime factor in achieving national recognition for my work as a composer of band music."