Music composed by CACC professor to be performed in Macy's parade
by CHRIS NORWOOD
Central Alabama Community College professor Justin Williams has been composing and arranging band music for the past nine years, and his compositions will be part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade this year for the third time.
TALLADEGA — When you’re watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television this morning, keep an eye out for the University of Louisiana, Lafayette marching band. They will be playing a medley of Christmas standards and original music by Justin Williams, a teacher at Central Alabama Community College in Talladega.

Williams teaches history and political science at CACC, but has also been composing band music for the past nine years. This will actually be the third time his music is featured in the Macy’s parade, although it has been a few years since the last time, he said.

Williams said his primary influences when writing are contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith and the late Jerryl Davis, who Williams studied under at Jacksonville State University. It was also at JSU that he met Louisiana Lafeyette’s band director, who commissioned him to “write all their parade music, as well as the standstill performance out front.”

Williams minored in music at JSU while majoring in political science. He eventually earned a masters degree in history and decided to pursue teaching. He has been an adjunct professor at CACC for three years, and is teaching full time for the first time this semester. In the meantime, he kept writing, and eventually “what was once just a hobby has turned into a way to make a living.”

In addition to composing, he also works as an arranger for the Marching Southerners at JSU and for about 30 high schools all over the country, including Ashville High School, his alma mater.

His first published work was titled “October Farewell,” and he has also published “Songs of Joy” and a band arrangement of the songs from “Man of La Mancha.” His most recent published work is a medley of movie songs by Danny Elfman.

The selection for the Macy’s parade this year consists of arrangements of songs, including “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Joy To The World,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” and “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen,” along with some original material.

And Williams will be watching it on television with most of the rest of us.

“I was invited to go this year, but I’ve married recently, and we just decided to stay home this year,” he said.

Contact Aziza Jackson at ajackson@dailyhome.com.

© 2012