William Alan Gora, D.M.A.



Dr. Kay R. Dickson, “William Alan Gora, D.M.A.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 15, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/48012.

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William Alan Gora, D.M.A.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Kay R. Dickson




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

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Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Music William Alan Gora earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami and studied conducting with Frederick Fennell. As an undergraduate, he also studied with Clifton Williams and Jerry Coker. Following two years of teaching public school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he completed a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Florida, where he served as instructor of saxophone and conducted concert and jazz bands while studying with Richard Bowles and Harold Bachman. Soon after, he resumed his studies in conducting and wind literature with Fennell at the University of Miami and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance. Dr. Gora has been the Director of Bands and Professor of Saxophone at Appalachian State University since 1976, where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and administered the total band program. During his tenure, the Appalachian State University Wind Ensemble has hosted residencies by Karel Husa, Martin Mailman, Alfred Reed, Frederick Fennell, Earle Brown, Michael Colgrass, Fisher Tull, Vincent DiMartino, Buddy Baker, Donald Grantham, Eddie Daniels, Ron Nelson, Francis McBeth, Warren Benson, and James Barnes. The Wind Ensemble has also performed for meetings of the College Band Directors National Association and the North Carolina Music Educators Association. Dr. Gora served, from 1982 through 1994, as director of Cannon Music Camp, one of the nation's most successful summer music programs. Gora has performed and conducted extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Romania. He conducted throughout Europe in the summers of 1992 and 1996. In May of 1996, Gora served his third conducting residency in Taipei, Taiwan, where he was instrumental in the development of young band programs in the public schools. In July of 1995, through the sponsorship of the MidWest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, he and Edward Lisk designed and hosted the first Symposium on Public School Reform for School Band and Orchestra Directors and presented a session at the 1995 MidWest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. They received a second grant in 1997, presenting a similar symposium at the University of Kansas, and presented an updated session for both the 1997 and 1998 MidWest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Dr. Gora has considerable experience as a saxophone recitalist, including experience in the fields of jazz and commercial music. He has also performed as a member of the North Carolina Symphony and the Modesto Symphony Orchestra (California) and soloist with the Vivaldi Traveling Circus. Gora is a past President of the Southern Division of the College Band Directors National Association and holds membership in the National Band Association (NBA) where he is presently serving on the Board of Directors. He was elected into the American Bandmasters Association (ABA) in 1990 and serves as chair of the Issues of School Reform Task Force for both the NBA and ABA. He also serves the ABA as a member of the Edwin Franko Goldman Citation Committee. Dr. Gora is a 1995 recipient of the North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. In November 2000, he was inducted into the University of Miami Band Alumni Hall of Fame. Dr. Gora is also a member of the Artist Staff of the Selmer Corporation. Some of the organizations Dr. Gora is affiliated with include: American Bandmasters Association (elected to membership, 1990); College Band Directors Association, North Carolina Chair (1985-89); Music Educators National Conference; National Band Association, North Carolina Chair (1987-1991, 1994-1995, 1997-); North Carolina Music Educators Association; North Carolina Bandmaster's Association, Board of Directors, Northwest District; Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia; Pi Kappa Lambda; Kappa Kappa Psi (Sponsor/Advisor); and Sigma Alpha Iota National Arts Affiliation. Gora's performances include: • Guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician in well over 30 states, Europe and Taiwan. • Saxophonist: Performed Robert Hawkins' iConcerto Orosso for Alto Saxophone and Woodwind Quarteti with Faculty Woodwind Quartet (1999) • Saxophonist: Faculty performance of Villa-Lobos' Sextuor Mystique(1998) • Saxophonist: Soloist with Vivaldi Traveling Circus (Telemann, Concerto in G Major/Soprano Saxophone) (1993) • Saxophonist: Faculty Recital Series (solo recital), An Evening with George Gershwin (1992) • Saxophonist: Faculty Recital Series, "An Evening with Cole Porter" (1991) • Saxophonist: Faculty "Encore" Recital Series (1990) • Saxophonist: Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, Faculty Woodwind Quintet (1988) • Saxophonist: North Carolina Symphony (1984-1991) • Saxophonist: Music Building Inaugural Recital Series (1982) • Saxophonist: Pi Kappa Lambda Faculty Recital Series (1981) • Clinician-Soloist: Wingate College Symphonic Band, Wingate, North Carolina. (1978) • Conductor and Saxophone Soloist: Fort Lauderdale Senior High School, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (1976-1977) • Saxophonist: Modesto Symphony (1975) Concert Tour of Western United States and Canada (1974) In June 2006, Dr. Gora was granted emeritus status by the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees. Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal correspondence. -Kay R. Dickson

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