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Wiley, Charles A.

Founder of TRN in 1973, Charles A. "Pete" Wiley strived "to make some contribution, hopefully significant, to the literature of the band/wind ensemble and orchestra." Learn more

Charles Albert "Pete" Wiley was born into a band-oriented family in Abilene, Texas, in 1925. His father, Dewey O. Wiley (1898-1980), the "Father of Texas Bands" and one of the founders of the national bandmasters fraternity Phi Beta Mu, was director of the Hardin-Simmons University Band when "Pete" (nick-named by his father) was born. His father's brother, Russell L. Wiley (born in 1903), founded the Tri-State Band Festival at Philips University in Oklahoma before serving for most of his career as conductor of bands at the University of Kansas. Infuenced not only by relatives, but also by the multitude of famous and infamous musicians who were associated with his father, Charles Wiley started clarinet lessons at the age of nine. Not long afterward he changed to oboe, which he continued to play and teach during his entire career. Beginning in 1942 he spent one year as a student at Texas Tech University (where his father was then band director) before joining the U.S. Navy as a navigator. He participated in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns and in the occupation of Korea and Japan before returning to the same university for a B.S. degree in mathematics. He later earned the M.Mus. degree at the University of Texas in 1949 and the Ed.D. degree at the University of Colorado in 1962.

 

Wiley's teaching career began as an assistant director with the Austin, Texas, High School Band in 1949. In 1952 he accepted a position at Lamar State College of Technology (now Lamar University) where he found a fifteen-piece band rehearsing in an area to be shared with the women's ballet class and the men's wrestling team! Under his guidance the instrumental program developed until 350 musicians were in the marching band, 100 in the symphonic band, and 90 in the concert band, all properly housed in a beautiful and large new music building. During his tenure the Lamar University bands performed for numerous national conferences and nationally televised football games in the days when half-times were shown in their entirety. In 1972 the Board of Regents awarded Wiley a $2000 cash prize and the lifetime title of Regent's Professor for his distinguished teaching. He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, serving as chairman of the committee which chooses the winner of the ABA-sponsered Ostwald Association, Kappa Kappa Psi (having served as national president), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Beta Mu (Alpha Chapter), and the Texas Bandmasters Association. He was named the Texas Bandmasters Association's "Bandmaster of the Year" in 1989 and was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu's "Bandmaster Hall of Fame" in 1991. In 1974, with the assistance of his wife, Mary Jane (Stucker), Wiley founded TRN Music Publisher. The name, TRN--That's Really Nice, typifies his original sense of humor and also describes the music he publishes.

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