About the Authors of Accent on Achievement
John O'Reilly is one of the most-performed composers of band music in the world today. A recipient of numerous ASCAP awards, he has studied composition with Robert Washburn, Arthur Frackenpohl, Charles Walton and Donald Hunsberger. Mr. O'Reilly graduated from the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam. In addition, he is the recipient of a Master of Arts in Composition and Theory degree from Columbia University. His years of teaching experience at elementary through college levels has provided him with insights and sensitivities to the needs of both student and educators. As co-author of Accent on Achievement, the Yamaha Band Student and Strictly Strings, Mr. O'Reilly has made a major impact on contemporary instrumental music education.
Mark Williams was one of the premier composers for school bands and orchestras. Co-author of the Accent on Achievement Band Method, Mr. Williams had over 200 published works to his credit. As clinician and guest conductor, he traveled to 34 states, 5 Canadian provinces, and Australia. Mr. Williams was born in Chicago and grew up in Spokane, Washington. He taught music in the state of Washington for many years, specializing in elementary band.
Mr. Williams held the Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master of Education degrees from Eastern Washington University and served as woodwind performer and arranger for the 560th Air Force Band. Renowned for his compositions for band, orchestra, and choir, Mr. Williams earned numerous awards including the Western International Band Clinic's Gralia Competition and several ASCAP Special Awards. In addition to his writing and travel schedule, Mark performed regularly on bassoon and served as Conductor and Artistic Director for the Spokane British Brass Band.