William Rowland

William Rowland William Rowland, two-time winner of the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival Rag Composition Contest, was born in 1948 in Windsor, Missouri, the son of a Methodist minister. The family moved around Missouri for several years, then finally was transferred to Joplin when Bill was 13, and he considers that to be his home town. He and his wife Linda lived in the Joplin area for many years, where he worked as a piano tuner/technician, then in 1990 he received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Science from Missouri Southern State College in Joplin and the family moved first to Little Rock, Arkansas, then to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Rowland works as a computer programmer in Tulsa, but his main interest is in music. Besides Ragtime, he composes music for church choir, and several of his anthems are published by Abingdon Press in Nashville, Tennessee. He is involved in his church and the Kairos Prison Ministry in Oklahoma, and is also active in the Tulsa Spotlight Theatre as a pianist and an actor in the melodrama "The Drunkard", which has been a Tulsa landmark since 1953. The youngest of the Rowland's three daughters, Jocelyn, is a composer and musician following in her father's footsteps.

His rag "Tickled Pink" won the Scott Joplin Ragtime Composition Contest in Sedalia, Missouri in 1975 and was published the next year in the "Ragtime Current" folio edited by Rudi Blesh. "Spiffy", his entry for the 1997 Contest, received Honorable Mention that year, and "Dave and Charlie's Rag" won First Prize at the Scott Joplin International Festival Rag Composition Contest in 1999.

Bayside Music Press of Gilroy, California, is now preparing new editions of the printed sheet music of William Rowland's rags. As they become available, they're being listed on the Bayside Music Press website at:


For more information, you may e-mail Jim O'Briant at jobriant@garlic.com.

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Copyright © 1996 Oleg Mezjuev.
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