- B.A., The University of the State of New York
- M.M., University of Texas at San Antonio
Charles L. Booker Jr., a native of Natchez, Mississippi, is a retired U.S. Army Bandmaster and former Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. He served the university as Director of Jazz Studies, Director of Bands and Chair of the Music Department. During his tenure at University of Arkansas – Fort Smith he taught trumpet, band, jazz band, conducting, music theory, orchestration and composition.
Booker studied composition with Hank Levy – composer/arranger for Stan Kenton – Steve Strunk, D.M.A., and James Balentine, D.M.A., and conducting with Robert Garofalo, D.M.A., and Robert Rustowicz, D.M.A. Booker received his degrees from the University of the State of New York and the University of Texas at San Antonio. He later completed courses for Texas teacher certification in secondary music at Texas State University and holds a Texas teaching certificate.
Booker has more than 90 compositions published by Alfred, Kendor, Southern Music Company, Wingert-Jones, Potenza Music, Print Music Source, and Lecta Music. His music has been performed internationally by schools, universities, community bands and professional bands and orchestras, including the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra, The U.S. Army Band and Orchestra (“Pershing’s Own”), the U.S. Army Field Band, the U.S. Military Academy Band (West Point), the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America and the U.S. Air Force Academy Band.
He was Interim Director of Bands at Trinity University from 1996 to 1997 and assistant editor at Southern Music Company from 1994 to 1997.
He is past president of the Arkansas Chapter of the College Band Directors National Association, past president of the Arkansas Chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators, current member of the Texas Bandmaster Association, the Association of Concert Bands and is a past president (2010) of the Arkansas Bandmaster Association. Booker is also a retired member of the Texas Chapter of Phi Beta Mu.
In 2007, the New Mexico State University Symphonic Winds released their CD entitled “Centra-fuge: The Music of Charles L. Booker, Jr.,” and in 2008, Booker released his second CD “American Jubilee.” Booker’s CD “Time Remembered” was released in 2009, and his CD “Radiant Blues” was released in 2011. In 2013, Booker and fellow composer Roger Cichy released a compilation of their latest original music on their CD “Glorious Journey.” More information on Booker and his music can be found on his website, www.charlesbooker.com.
Booker is married to his wife, a trumpeter and quilter, Claudette [DeRocher] Booker of San Antonio. They have three children: Maj. Erik Booker, U. S. Army (Retired) and Maryland public school teacher; Adam Booker, D.M.A., Assistant Professor of Double Bass at Appalachian State University, and Colleen Booker Halverson, Ph.D., of Richland Center, Wisconsin, author, English professor and mentor at Western Governors University. Booker and Claudette have nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Recognition and Awards
Booker has been recognized by the Mayor of Fort Smith (the 2006 “Mayor’s Honors to the Visual and performing Arts”), the North Side Independent School District of San Antonio (the 2008 “Pillars of Character Award”), and received the Arkansas Arts Council Award in music composition for 2009.