Ohio State's Dr. William T. McDaniel Jr. Receives Bennie Service Award From Morehouse College Du
Alpha Rho's own legendary "Music Man," Dr. William Daniels, returned to Morehouse earlier this month to receive the prestigious "Bennie" award for his lifelong contributions to the performing arts. Dr. McDaniel was joined in Atlanta by fraternity brothers, family and friends -- most notably his sons Elliot (Alpha Rho Spring 2000) and William III., both Alphamen and Morehouse alums.
William T. McDaniel’s musical roots were destined from birth. He was born on the famed Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn., to a high school band director, and he went on to build his own legacy in music education, becoming an expert in African American music, jazz history, and jazz performance.
McDaniel began his advanced musical training at Morehouse College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics in music in 1967. He received both his master’s degree and doctorate in music from the University of Iowa. After completing his education, McDaniel taught at North Carolina A&T State University and Morehouse College before joining The Ohio State University (OSU) in 1981 as a professor in the Department of African American and African Studies and the School of Music.
Noted for his works on the music of jazz icons Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, McDaniel has written extensively on black music. Since 1981, McDaniel has also been a musical arranger for the nationally-acclaimed OSU Marching Band. He is also active as a conductor and judge in jazz education circles. McDaniel has created more than 200 music arrangements for jazz groups and marching bands. His arrangements have been performed at nearly all the Big Ten stadiums, and at the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Citrus Bowl, and Sugar Bowl. His music has also been featured on more than 20 CDs and record albums, and on “Sesame Street.”
Under his leadership, OSU’s Jazz Ensemble has performed at several of the most prestigious jazz festivals in Europe, including the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Vienne Jazz Festival in France, and the Tuscany and Umbria Jazz Festivals in Italy. The former president of the National Black Music Caucus (now the National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music), McDaniel is a member of several professional groups, including the Center for Black Music Research and the International Association for Jazz Education.
McDaniel is professor emeritus of music and African American and African Studies at OSU where he is director of jazz studies and director of the award-winning jazz ensemble.