A. Clyde Roller (1914-2005) was a music professor, conductor and clinician. His primary personal instrument was oboe. Dr. Roller was a well known and requested clinician in the southwest, while he lived in Amarillo, Texas, but he also had a national reputation. While living in the Panhandle of Texas, he conducted youth ensembles for several decades, being asked to conduct at band/orchestra camps and all-state/all-region orchestras.
Dr. Roller was born in Rogersville, Missouri and after his high school education received further musical education at the Eastman School of Music where he graduated in 1941. As a performer, he served as principal oboist in the Oklahoma City Symphony, the Birmingham Alabama Symphony and the Tulsa Philharmonic.
He then conducted the Southern Methodist University orchestra in 1947 and 1948 and from 1948 until 1962, Dr. Roller conducted the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra. During this period, he accepted various other assignments as guest conductor, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The following year, he returned to Eastman, where he served as ensembles professor. He also conducted the Eastman Wind Ensemble from 1964 to 1966. He later went on to serve in similar capacities at University of Houston, University of Texas, Southern Methodist University, University of Wisconsin at Madison and University of Michigan. For over fifty years, he also was an oboe instructor and conductor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.
Dr. Roller also was the resident conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the musical director and conductor of the Lansing Michigan Symphony Orchestra from the mid 1960s to the late 1970s while accepting guest recording and conducting assignments in the United States and abroad.
As mentioned above, Dr. Roller was regularly asked to conduct youth educational honor groups. Over the years, he participated as conductor in almost every state, including all-state orchestras, region orchestras, string festivals and the like. It would not be unusual for him to have conducted the children of students that he had conducted in other ensembles many years earlier.
During his long career, Dr. Roller received many honors, including the Amarillo “Man of the Year” Award, Texas Orchestra Director of the Year (1979), Sigma Alpha Iota’s National Artist Affiliate Award (1979), and the Outstanding Educator of America Award. In 1998, he was awarded the Edwin Franko Goldman Memorial Citation by the American Bandmasters Association, “In Recognition of Distinguished Contributions in the Interests of Bands and Band Music in America.” In 1981, Dr. Roller was honored with the Eastman School’s Alumni Achievement Award.