Howard Williams (Interview)

Dublin Core


~80 min; 1 cassette


Herb Janick Papers, MS012

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Rob Cappelli; Mike Hennesy


Howard Williams


~80 min

Time Summary

Side A
0-20min.:Interest in music; both parents were involved in music; his family was heavily music oriented; learned to play the trombone during hard times of the Depression; worked in a church in his youth singing in the choir; Start in music; Mansfield College in Pennsylvania during WW II; got degree in music education; played trombone in Air Force for 4 years; first teaching job was in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and built music program; Offers to play w/ bands; Ralph Flanagan Band; WestConn; came in 1965 to teach music; taught until 1988; department chair at time was a friend from Mansfield College; Student/faculty changes; it was still primarily a teacher's college when he first came; began a jazz ensemble 5; 6 years after arriving; taught jazz last 10 years at WestConn; Music department; was large by 1970s; bachelor of arts program in music; later bachelor of music added; Business school; many dropped out to join business school in 1970s; many teacher's programs were affected by the addition of business; Standards; higher now than they were then; some students were just average then; interest varies w/ student (more dedicated today); Relationship w/ administration and faculty; Dr. Haas was great for the music program; school was closer in beginning because of size of the college; music department grew over the years (originally located in Berkshire); Business program effect on school; music department felt not enough money going into department; feeling was music was getting left behind; now music and business are more balanced;
20-40min.: Music preferences; in classroom, focused on the music there; outside classroom, their favorite style (like rock); Charles Ives; knew little about him before coming to WestConn; Vietnam War; hard for teachers to get students to listen; felt students believed the world owed them; no respect for teachers; many protests back then; Prejudice at WestConn; didn't see any problems; James Furman; shared an office w/ him; Teaching philosophy; changes in type of music; make students more rounded through various types of music; computers changed how music is used and taught; Marching band; school wanted one for the football team; hard to establish because of economic reasons; Mr. Smith got it going eventually; didn't need to be music major to be in marching band; Concerts; Relationship between departments; always some problems; feels slowed down; problems became very serious at one point; always some problems; feels slowed down; problems became very serious at one point;
40-60min.:Relationship between departments; Relationship w/ presidents of college; Dr. Haas always supportive and came to all concerts; Dr. Bersi and Dr. Feldman never been close to department; they attended the occasional concert; Dr. Haas; open door policy; great person

Side B:
0-20min.:Local music programs; Newtown has a great one; others have poor programs; when CT is going well, music is as well; the reverse holds true as well; High school music programs; start preparing students for college; Ways in which people listen to music; Type of student; most came from middle; class backgrounds; usually dedicated and hard working; Relationship w/ students; always great; holds his first class in fond memory because being his first class; class of 1969 also has fond memories for him; Course development; History of Jazz; Music Appreciation; Jazz; evolution of jazz; big band music; origins in rock and other types of music; Advent of the CD; brings new appreciation to jazz; more younger people are listening to jazz today; Retirement; still tries to make concerts and recitals at WestConn; holds emeritus title, so he has full campus privileges


Janick, Herbert F. “Howard Williams (Interview).” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 22 Jan. 2020.


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