Dana Wilson

Dana Wilson

1988: Piece of Mind

Dana Richard Wilson (b. 1946) is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Music at Ithaca College (NY), where he teaches music composition. Wilson holds a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied composition with Samuel Adler, as well as a master’s from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor’s from Bowdoin College.

Wilson has received grants from many organizations, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Arts Midwest, and Meet the Composer. He has also received several notable awards, including the International Trumpet Guild First Prize, the Sudler International Composition Prize, and the Ostwald Award, and has held fellowships at the Yaddo artists' retreat in Saratoga Springs, the Aspen Institute, and the Society for Humanities at Cornell University, among others.

Wilson's music has been commissioned and performed by many ensembles including the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Buffalo Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony, Washington military bands, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Syracuse Symphony, the Hope College Wind Ensemble, and the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. He is coauthor of Contemporary Choral Arranging and has published other works on diverse musical subjects and his own compositional process.


Piece of Mind, which won the 1988 Sudler International Wind Band Composition Competition and the 1988 ABA/Ostwald Prize, is Wilson's representation of the workings of the human mind. It contains four movements: "Thinking," "Remembering," "Feeling," and "Being." The piece features many syncopated rhythms, solo passages for various instruments, and lively percussion parts.