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Yates, Charles

About the arranger –
Charles D. Yates (1936 – 2013), Professor Emeritus, is recognized as creating one of the largest band
programs in the United States, at San Diego State University. Under his direction the internationally
recognized San Diego State University Wind Ensemble recorded over 500 “New Band Music”
selections performed throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico, Africa, Scandinavia, Australia, and the
United States.


As well as an esteemed educator and conductor, his own
compositions and arrangements have been used in
television and radio broadcasts on five continents. His
textbook ”Overview – An Introduction to Music,”
published by Simon & Schuster, second edition, is
utilized in university classrooms throughout the nation.
He was the creator, producer and host for the radio show,
“The Great American Band Tradition,” providing
historical information and performances of instrumental
music dating from 1778 to the 1990’s which aired on
KPBS and other PBS stations from 1994 - 1996.


Charles taught at elementary, junior, and senior high
school levels. He founded the Kappa Kappa Psi
Fraternity and Tau Beta Sigma Sorority (music based) at
San Diego State University. He was selected as a State
Department Foreign Service Music Director for the
United States, served as National Task Force Chairman
for the College Band Directors National Association and
was a member of ASCAP.


Outside of the academia world, Charles worked as a music producer and conductor for Universal
Studios. He is also credited with founding two other internationally recognized bands, the San Diego
Community Concert Band and the Swiss-American International Concert Band.


Charles was a guest lecturer and conductor throughout Europe and Asia—favorites included guest
lecturing on world cruises and guest conducting with the Royal Air Force and Royal Army bands. He
has over thirty music publications including a performance used in the sound track of the George C.
Scott television special, “Mussolini.”


A recent discovery of Scossa Elettrica (1899), by Giacomo Puccini was written for piano and was
originally arranged by Charles for concert band and premiered by the Goldman Band, Battery Park, New
York. Simonetta Bigongiari, granddaughter of Puccini gifted the piece to Charles. This arrangement for
full orchestra was one of the last arrangements by Charles D. Yates.

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