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Revelli, William Donald  

Mark Clague

(b Spring Gulch, CO, 12 Feb 1902; d Ann Arbor, MI, 16 July 1994). American band director and educator. A fierce taskmaster, he elevated standards and influenced generations of band directors and musicians. Revelli played violin as a child, training for a career in Chicago's theater orchestras at Chicago Musical College (BM 1922). Earning teaching credentials from Chicago's Columbia School of Music in 1925, he founded the Hobart High School band, leading the ensemble four years later to its first of repeat Indiana state and soon national championships. He continued taking private lessons on all band instruments and studied conducting and music education at Chicago's VanderCook School of Music (BM 1931; MM 1936). In 1935 Revelli became conductor of bands and assistant professor of wind instruments at the University of Michigan, guiding its bands to international prominence. Known as “The Chief,” Revelli required total effort from his players, who both feared and revered him; he championed bandss as a means for educating successful citizens. Beginning in ...