William James McClain’s Story Coming to UW-Platteville

Dear Editor,

As a part of the music department, I am writing on their behalf to bring attention to a well accomplished conductor and violinist, who will be coming to speak about his journey to where he is today. This will be taking place on April 26 in Doudna Hall room 136 and will be speaking twice for an hour at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

This upcoming Tuesday, Dr. William James McClain will be appearing here on campus to talk about his experiences of being a conductor/violinist who happens to be African American. This should be something that students in the music department should come in and see. Dr. McClain has built up quite the resume. He has appeared in many major venues across the United States such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. Another notable place that Dr. McClain Has appeared was the Sheremeteve Palace in Saint Petersburg Russia. He has also conducted the Macon Symphony Orchestra in Georgia in the spring of 2006, for being the winner of the International Conductors Workshop, and Festival Competition in 2005. These are just some of his conducting accomplishments.

As a violinist, Dr. McClain has recorded with the Adriane String Quartet, which is the faculty quartet in Ithica College. As of recent Dr. McClain is a part of and performs with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra in Georgia. He is also a professor and conductor of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and the Millikin-Decatur Orchestra, respectively. Dr. McClain has had to go through the ropes to get where he is today and will be coming to shine some light on how he had to go about it. Being African American would not have made it anymore easy.

Dr. McClain coming to share his life experiences should be something of interest for those who are up and coming conductors, violinists, or musicians, as he will be able to shed some light on his struggles. Being a person of color and going through this rugged and rough path, he will have something that would pique your interest even if you are African American, Hispanic, Asian, or any other race. I am sure that there will be something from his past that will resonate with anyone who is trying to make it in the music world.


Jelsim “Jello” Garcia-Bautista