Dr. Jared Spears (b. 1936) is Professor Emeritus of Music at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and received the B.S.E. degree in Music Education from Northern Illinois University; the B.M. and M.M. in Percussion and Composition from the Cosmopolitan School of Music; and the D.M in Composition from Northwestern University. His teachers included Blyth Owen, Alan Stout, and Anthony Donato. Spears has taught music theory, history, composition, percussion and band on all educational levels from elementary through college. Since his retirement from Arkansas State University in May of 1999 and moving to the Saint Louis Area, he has maintained a heavy schedule of composing, conducting, lecturing and serving as Artistic Advisor for the St. Louis Wind Symphony.
He has received numerous awards including the Faricy Award for Creative Music from Northwestern University School of Music, the Award of Merit from the Arkansas Chapter of the National Federation of Music Clubs, Outstanding Educators of America (1973 and 1975), International Who’s Who in Music and Who’s Who in the World of Percussion —U.S.A., Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association, Sigma Alpha Iota National Art Associate, and several ASCAP Awards. Spears has also received the President’s Award for the outstanding faculty member of Arkansas State University, as well as an appointment as a President’s Fellow.
To date, he has composed over 250 original works for band, choir, orchestra, and chamber ensembles. His music has been performed and recorded worldwide. Spears has guest conducted band festivals, camps and clinics throughout Canada, Europe, and the United States. He also has appeared as a guest lecturer at several universities.
Spears and his music have been the subject of numerous articles in music journals and texts, and he is considered one of the most frequently performed American composers of wind and percussion music.