DeKALB – A. Oscar Haugland, son of Norwegian immigrants, was born Jan. 28, 1922, on a farm in southern Minnesota.|
He received a bachelor's degree in music from Drake University in 1943. During three years of military service, he spent time in an army band in Aberdeen, Md., 2 1/2 years as a French hornist and pianist, and one as a conductor. Upon discharge in 1946, he entered Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., where he received bachelor's degrees and master's degrees in music composition and theory.
In 1949, he joined the faculty of West Virginia University as a professor of French horn, music theory and composition. In 1956, he was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition, with a performer's certificate in French horn, for which he played his own composition with the Eastman Rochester Orchestra, under the direction of Howard Hanson. He then returned to West Virginia University as the head of the theory and composition department.
In 1960, he joined the School of Music at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and retired from that position in 1992 as professor emeritus of theory and composition and as coordinator of graduate studies. He also played French horn for many years in the DeKalb Municipal Band.
Haugland's composition teachers included Howard Hanson, Bernard Rogers, Herbert Elwell and Robert Delaney. His works cover a variety of media, including symphonic, chamber, choral, musicals, and solos, many of which are published. A variety of his compositions have been performed throughout the United States, as well as around the world, including performances in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan. While on sabbatical from 1974 to 1975, he lectured extensively throughout Scandinavia and England on the life and music of the American composer, Charles Ives.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers. Survivors include his wife, Janet; sister, Connie Zakula; brother, Stanley; three children, Janet Loerkens (Paul), James, and John (Connie); and six grandchildren, Blaz, Zarja, Kelly, Solveig, Amelia, and Anders.
A memorial service will be at Westminster Presbyterian Church in DeKalb with the Rev. Blake Richter officiating at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 23. The visitation will be held Monday from 9:30 a.m. till the time of the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Janet and A. Oscar Haugland Scholarship in Music Composition or Music Theory at NIU.
Arrangements were entrusted to Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home at 310 Oak St. DeKalb, 815-758-3841.
To sign the online guest book, visit www.legacy.com/daily-chronicle.
Published in Daily Chronicle on Dec. 19, 2013