William Tietze dies at 90; life-long musician, conductor and educator
Dr. William B. 'Doc Tietze, a Villages resident with a prestigious musical career spanning more than seven decades, died on Sunday, January 12, 2014. He was part-time conductor of The Villages Swing Band, having moved from the Marco Island/Naples area in 2012.
William Blaine Tietze was born June 20, 1923 in Livingston, MT to William Albert Tietze and Helen Anna Francis Paudler. He began his career as a clarinetist and saxophonist performing with the U.S. Navy Band during World War II. Between 1942 and 1948, he performed for servicemen all over the world with special assignments in the South Pacific and China, including shows with Bob Hope. He performed for four presidents during his career, including Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and later Reagan.
After leaving the service, he earned a graduate certificate in musical instrument repair from the C.G. Conn and Selmer companies in Elkhart, IN in 1949.
Tietze played clarinet in the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra from 1951 to 1953 and was also Director of Bands and Orchestra at Dupont High School.
Tietze earned a Bachelor's Degree from the Jacksonville College of MusicJacksonville in 1953; a Master's Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1956; and a Doctorate Degree from the University of Iowa-Iowa City in 1958 - all in music education. He taught clarinet as a graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin and was Instructor of Music at the University of Iowa while he completed his Ph.D.
He was Professor of Music, Chairman of Graduate Music and Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville from 1958 to 1973, touring with his concert band throughout Europe. At Western New Mexico University in Silver City, NM, he was Expressive Arts Chairman, Orchestra and CampusCommunity Jazz Coalition Director from 1973 to 1988. The WNMU CAM-COM Jazz Coalition won an audition to perform at the North Sea and Montreux jazz festivals in 1986. Tietze was also appointed by the State of New Mexico to serve on the Fine Arts panel for statewide award and distribution of funds for arts activities.
After retiring and moving to Marco Island in 1988, he went back to his jazz roots from his days in the Navy, playing as many as 200 gigs during each Season in Southwest Florida with both Big Bands and small ensembles, including The Perry Fotos Orchestra, The Townsmen, the Music Makers Show Band, and Heidelberg German Band. Tietze also conducted the Naples Gulf Coast Big Band for three years. He repaired woodwind instruments for professional musicians from around the state of Florida.
Tietze was passionate about education. He organized many youth camps, was President of the North Central College Band Master's Association, and served as a woodwind and band clinician in several states. He was published in five music journals, elected to Who's Who in American Education and is listed in Creative and Successful Educators in the World in the Directory of International Biographies in Cambridge, England.
He was a Shriner and member of the Marco Lutheran Church, where he and his wife Perkie were active musically. Doc and Perkie were also members of the Naples Concert Band, and he performed with the Naples Woodwind Quintet.
Doc is survived by his wife of 67 years, Perkie; daughters, Sandra Washburn, Angela Tietze, Cheryl Flores, and Barbara Krause; son, Raymond Tietze; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one brother; two sisters; and a couple of Navy buddies from the ship back in Shanghai.