On the Passing of William (Bill) Clark

SBO Staff • News • August 5, 2022

William (Bill) Clark passed away on July 31, 2022, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was 84.

Bill graduated from Henderson State Teachers College and completed a Masters Degree from the University of Arkansas. He received a doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Upon completion of his degree, he became Director of Bands at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. In 1985, Bill joined the New Mexico State University music faculty as Director of Bands and later served as Department Chair.

Bill devised ways to involve music lovers in the expression of their talent; therefore, in 1986 he founded the Mesilla Valley Concert Band and served as its conductor for 30 years. In addition, in 1994, he founded the Las Cruces New Horizon program which at that time was one of five in the nation.

In 1988, Bill was named Las Cruces Citizen of the Year and in 1992, the New Mexico Music Educator of the Year. In 1993, he was inducted as a member of American Bandmasters Association. In 2007, he was inducted into the New Mexico Music Educator Association Hall of Fame and received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2015. In 2017, he received the Platinum Music Award given by the New Mexico Music Commission.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2022, at 1:00 pm at the University Church of Christ, 1555 East University Avenue, Las Cruces, New Mexico. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the William Dempsey Clark Music Endowment. Make checks payable to: NMSU Foundation, Inc. at P.O. Box 3590, Las Cruces, NM 88003.

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