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S. Thomas Beversdorf

S. Thomas Beversdorf

Tenure at the School of Music: 1951-1977

Biography  |  Works  |  Selective Bibliography

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Beversdorf was born in Yoakum, Texas on August 8, 1924. He began studying piano at age six, and at seven baritone horn with his father, a band director in Yoakum. He started playing trombone in high school, also under the guidance of his father. Beversdorf graduated high school when he was sixteen. Between age 6 and 16 he also studied horn, saxophone, cello, and clarinet.

In 1941, Beversdorf went to Baylor University on a full scholarship. In 1942, he transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied composition with Kent Kennan, Eric DeLemarter, and Anthony Donato. He finished his BM degree (cum laude) in Theory and Composition in August 1945.

Beversdorf went to the Eastman School of Music that fall, studying composition with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson, and trombone with Emory Remington. He received his MM in theory and composition in Spring 1946.

In the summer of 1947, Beversdorf studied composition with Aaron Copland and Arthur Honegger at Tanglewood, and privately with Anis Fuleihan.

Beversdorf played trombone with the Rochester Philharmonic from 1945 to 1946 and the Houston Symphony from 1946 to 1948, and bass trombone in the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1948 to 1949. He was an instructor at the University of Houston from 1946 to 1948. In 1951, he joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music as a professor of composition, and continued in that capacity until 1977. In 1977, he lectured at the University of Guadalajara.

Beversdorf died on February 15, 1981.


Threnody: The Funeral of Youth. Ballet (Bloomington, IN, March 6, 1963). Also known as Variations for orchestra.
The Hooligan. Opera (1964-1969)
Metamorphosis. Opera (1968)
Vision of Christ. Mystery Play (Lewisburg, PA, May 1, 1971)

The Rock, an Oratorio for Solo Bass, Chorus (SSAATTTTBBBB), Organ, Brass, and Strings (© 1959)
3 Fold Amen; 4 Fold Amen for Unison Chorus and Organ (1969?)
Mini-Motet from Micah for SATB, Coloratura Soprano, and Baritone with Organ [or Harpsichord and Double Bass] (© 1972)

Essay on Mass Production (1946)
Symphony No. 1 (1946)
Reflections (1947)
Mexican Portrait (1948, rev. 1952)
Concerto Grosso for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra (1948; Pittsburgh, April 28, 1950)
Symphony No. 2 (1950)
Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra (1951; Bloomington, IN, March 17, 1967)
New Frontiers (Houston, March 31, 1953)
Symphony No. 3 for Winds and Percussion (Bloomington, IN, May 9, 1954; also for Full Orchestra, Bloomington, IN, October 10, 1958)
Serenade to My Wife (1956)
Symphony No. 4 (1958)
Violin Concerto: Danforth (1959)
Generation with the Torch: An Overture for Youth (1965)
Murals, Tapestries, and Icons for Symphonic Band, Electric Bass, and Electric Piano (1975)
Concerto for Tuba and Wind Orchestra (Bloomington, IN, Feb. 11, 1976)
Ode for Orchestra (Date Unknown)

Horn Sonata: Christmas (1945)
Suite for Clarinet, Violoncello, and Piano (1947)
2 String Quartets (1951, 1955)
3 Poems of E.E. Cummings for Soprano and Piano (1955)
Tuba Sonata (1956)
Theme and Variations, "A Pretty Maid," for Piano (1959)
Trumpet Sonata (1962)
Violin Sonata (1964-65)
Flute Sonata (1965-66)
Cathedral Music for Brass Choir (© 1966)
Three Epitaphs for Brass Quartet (© 1966)
Cello Sonata (1967-1969)
Music for Flute (Piccolo), Oboe (English Horn), Doublebass, and Harpsichord (1968)
Divertimento da camera for Flute, Piccolo, Oboe, English Horn, Double Bass, and Harpsichord (© 1970)
Of Walruses, Cheesecake, and Morse Code for Tuba and Piano (1972)
La Petite Exposition for Violin or Clarinet and 11 Strings (Dallas, Feb. 28, 1976)
Sonata for Violin and Harp (1976-77)
Corelliana Variations for 2 Flutes and Cello (1980)

Selective Bibliography

Baker, Buddy. "Thomas Beversdorf Retires from Trombone Teaching (An Interview -- A Tribute)." Newsletter of the International Trombone Association 6, no. 4 (September 1979): 15-16.

Coe, John W. "A Study of Five Selected Contemporary Compositions for Brass." D.Mus. document, Indiana University, 1971.

The Beversdorf composition for two trumpets and two trombones "Three Epitaphs" is analyzed and discussed at length.

Created: Dec. 1999 / Peter H. Lisius ; Updated 9 Aug. 2007, Lisa H.
Copyright 1999-2007, The Trustees of Indiana University

last updated: 4/20/2012