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Charles L. Booker Jr.

Charles L. Booker Jr. is Associate Professor of Theory and Composition at UAFS, where he has served as Director of Bands (1999-2009), Director of Jazz Studies (1998-2002) and Chair of the Department of Music (2002-06). He currently teaches conducting, music theory, orchestration and composition.

Booker, a former U.S. Army Bandmaster, received his degrees from the University of the State of New York and The University of Texas at San Antonio. He later completed courses for Texas teacher certification in secondary music at Texas State University. He studied composition with Hank Levy (composer-arranger for Stan Kenton), Dr. Steve Strunk and Dr. James Balentine, and conducting with Dr. Robert Garofalo and Dr. Robert Rustowicz.


Booker has more than 45 published compositions and arrangements. His music is published by Alfred, Kendor, Southern Music Company, Wingert-Jones, Print Music Source, and Booker Music. His music has been performed internationally by schools, universities and professional bands that include The United States Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”), The United States Army Field Band, the U.S. Military Academy Band (West Point), the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America and the U.S. Air Force Academy Band.

Career Highlights

Booker's 21-year career in the U.S. Army included service in the U.S. Fifth Army Band in San Antonio; staff arranger for The U.S. Army Field Band; conductor of Army bands in Louisiana, Germany and New York City; and director of the Jazz Ambassadors in Washington, D.C.

As a trumpeter with the Fifth Army Band, Booker performed at the funerals of U.S. Presidents Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1981, as the conductor of the 3rd Armored Division Band in Germany, he conducted welcoming ceremonies at Rhein-Main Air Base for the returning American hostages from Iran. In New York City, Booker conducted the Army Band in New York at ceremonies for heads of state of the United States, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal and China, and his band performed at the centennial activities of the Statue of Liberty.

While an associate conductor of the Army Field Band and director of the Jazz Ambassadors, Booker performed in 48 states plus India, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Europe. He performed at The Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Newport Jazz Festival (Rhode Island), Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Nice Jazz Festival (France) and North Sea Jazz Festival (the Netherlands). He also marched in the inaugural parades of Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton.

Booker was Interim Director of Bands at Trinity University (San Antonio) from 1996 to 1997, and assistant editor at Southern Music Company from 1994 to 1997. In addition, he is the former conductor of the River Valley Community Band of Fort Smith. When he is not composing or teaching, Booker performs on trumpet with the Chris Cameron Blues Band throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, and with the River Valley Community Band.

Honors and Awards

Booker has been recognized by the Mayor of Fort Smith (the 2006 “Mayor’s Honors to the Visual and Performing Arts") and by the North Side Independent School District of San Antonio (the 2008 “Pillars of Character Award”). He also has received the Arkansas Arts Council Award in music composition for 2009.

His military awards (1972-93) include the Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals and the National Defense Ribbon with one bronze star. In 1991, then-CW4 Booker received from the Adjutant Generals Corps the Horatio Gates Medal for outstanding service to the Corps.

Professional Affiliations

Booker is a past president of the Arkansas Chapter of College Band Directors National Association, past president of the Arkansas Chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators, member of the National Band Association and the Texas Bandmaster Association, and a past president of the Arkansas Bandmaster Association. He also is a member of the Arkansas Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi, music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha and honorary music fraternity Pi Kappa Lambda.

Music CD Collections

In 2007, the New Mexico State University Symphonic Winds released a CD titled Centra-fuge: The Music of Charles L. Booker Jr., Volume I, and in 2008 Booker released his second CD, American Jubilee: The Music of Charles L. Booker Jr., Volume II.  His third CD titled Times Remembered: The Music of Charles L. Booker Jr., Volume III, was released July 30, 2009. His latest CD, Radiant Blues: The Music of Charles L. Booker Jr., Volume IV, was released in July 2011.


Booker has been married almost 43 years to his wife, trumpeter and quilter Claudette M. (DeRocher) Booker, formerly of San Antonio. They have three children: Major Erik Booker, U.S. Army; Dr. Adam Booker, assistant professor of double-bass at the University of Minnesota Duluth; and Dr. Colleen Booker Halverson, instructor of English at the University of Wisconsin - Richland Center. Charles and Claudette have eight grandchildren: Alex, Brennan, Cassidy, Colin, Colton, Devin, Ronald and Skye.


Charles L. Booker Jr.
Associate Professor of Theory and Composition
University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
Phone: 479-788-7536
Fax: 479-424-6536