Begian, Harry (1921-2010) | University of Illinois Archives
Harry Begian (1921-2010), University band conductor, composer, arranger, and pedagogue, has appeared as a guest conductor and speaker for numerous high school, University, and professional concert bands throughout the United States and internationally. Dr. Begian started his career as a band director during WWII at McKenzie High school in Detroit before he was drafted. After he finished serving in the war, he went on to become the director of the Cass Technical High School Symphonic Band from 1947-1964, making it one of the finest high school bands in the country.
Dr. Begian was director of bands at Wayne State University, his alma mater, from 1964-1967, and director of bands at Michigan State University from 1967-1970 before his 14 year tenure as director of bands at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1970-1984. After his retirement from the University of Illinois, he went on to become the director of the Purdue University Symphonic Band from 1985-1987.
In addition to being a professional conductor and composer, Dr. Begian is also widely recognized for his pedagogical techniques, and he has published 17 articles on rehearsal analysis and conducting strategies. He has also been the subject of two dissertations, as well as numerous interviews published in the Instrumentalist. Dr. Begian has been the recipient of various awards, including the National Band Association's Citation of Excellence, The Edwin Franko Goldman Award, and the Notre Dame St. Cecelia Award among others.