J. Durward Morsch

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Junior Durward Morsch (December 18, 1920 – August 2, 2015) was an American composer, prolific arranger, trombonist, and retired music educator who has worked and recorded professionally in a broad spectrum of genres, beginning with progressive big band jazz in the late 1940s and ending as a high school band director in Colorado.[1] He was also the band director at Saguaro High School, in Scottsdale, Arizona.[2]


Morsch was born in Iowa. Noted for his scoring for symphonic band works, Morsch has written over 400 arrangements, including 125 marching band scores, 110 symphonic scores, and 125 scores for film, dating from the 1930s to the present.

His son, Robert Stuart Morsch, DMA (1942–2009), was a music educator at the collegiate level, notably the director of bands at Western Illinois University.[3]

Between 1946 and 1949, Morsch recorded on five studio sessions and two live broadcast as trombonist with the Earle Spencer Orchestra. Morsch is an alumnus of the University of Southern California and the University of Northern Colorado (1950s). He died in 2015 at the age of 94 in Colorado Springs.[4]

Selected arrangements and compositions[edit]

Arranged for concert band by Morsch (1950)[5]
  • "Twelve clarinet quartets"
Theodore Presser Company (1963)
OCLC 2368450
Arranged for concert band by Morsch
Arranged for concert band by Morsch
Arranged for wind symphony by Morsch
Arranged for wind symphony by Morsch
  • "Little Bach Suites No. 1 & 2"
Arranged for 3 instruments (woodwind, strings, recorders, or mixed)
Theodore Presser Company (1964)
OCLC 150133981, 319491766, 723946725, OCLC 150175804, 150133989, 317753320, OCLC 799132679, 723946650
"Minuet," K. 599, No. 1
By Mozart
Universal Music Group
Trio for flute, B♭ clarinet, and bassoon (or strings or recorders or mixed)
Theodore Presser Company (1964), Universal edition
OCLC 12005543, 34775352, 21514274, OCLC 495973674, 474077366, 724573662, OCLC 421907377, 799296224
For 3 B♭ clarinets, E♭ alto clarinet, B♭ bass clarinet, EE♭ contrabass clarinet, and BB♭ contrabass clarinet
OCLC 11859932
  • "Section studies for flutes: auxiliary fingering, ear training and intonation, tone quality, blend and balance, technique"
By Nilo W. Hovey[a][6][7] & Morsch
Belwin-Mills (1968)
OCLC 49915722
  • "Little Handel suite"
Arranged for 3 instruments (woodwind, strings, recorders, or mixed)
Theodore Presser Company (1964)
OCLC 36239968, 65884717, 614535581, OCLC 724609824, 421889664
Arranged for wind symphony by Morsch
Arranged for wind ensemble by Morsch (2000)
Transcribed by Morsch
Arranged for concert band by Morsch
Flute solo arranged by Morsch for wind ensemble
  • "A Christmas Suite For Chamber Winds"
  • "Fortinbras March"
  • "Nuages"
  • "Pantomime of the Actors"
  • "Sinfonia," for Chamber Woodwind Ensemble
  • "Yagi Bushi"

Professional affiliations[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Nilo Wellington Hovey (1906–1986) was an influential guest conductor and clinician. Hovey was the director of the concert band at Butler University from 1944 to 1957. From 1957 to 1975, Hovey was the Educational Director for Selmer. He widely influenced educational pedagogy of school bands in North America. Hovey was a 1986 inductee of the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors

Inline citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Durward Morsch". familysearch. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  2. ^ "Deaths for August 5, 2015: J. Durward Morsch". Gazette. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  3. ^ Former WIU Band Director Robert Morsch Passed Away, Western Illinois University News Service, January 8, 2009
  4. ^ "Deaths for August 5, 2015". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  5. ^ Program Notes: 1950 Music Educators National Conference: North Texas State College Concert Band March 21, 1950
  6. ^ The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music, Composers and Their Music, (Hovey is in Vol. 1 of 3), William H. Rehrig (ed.), Integrity Press (1991); OCLC 24606813
  7. ^ Biography Index, Vol. 15: September 1986 – August 1988, "Nilo W. Hovey," Charles R. Cornell (ed.), New York: H.W. Wilson Co. (1988); OCLC 30326307

External links[edit]