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Born in Sacramento, California, in 1926, William O. Smith began playing the clarinet at the age of ten. In his teens, he initiated the dual life that he has followed ever since: leading a jazz orchestra while also performing with the Oakland Symphony: after high school and a year "on the road" traveling with various bands, he attended Juilliard during the day while playing jazz clubs at night.

Smith studied composition with Darius Milhaud at Mills College in 1946 and… read more

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