Donald W. Haddad

 1935 - 2017

Don Haddad was an internationally noted composer and accomplished horn player. He was born in Marietta, Ohio, on January 11, 1935 to Issac (Ike) and Louise Bacela Haddad. He graduated from Marietta High School in 1952 and completed an undergraduate degree in music at Ohio University. He then earned graduate degrees at the University of Colorado and the University of Texas. Additional study was taken at the Aspen Festival of Music and Chautauqua Institute of Music. Horn teachers included Philip Farkas, James Chambers of the New York Philharmonic, Myron Bloom of the Chicago Symphony, and Forrest Standley of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Haddad began his teaching career as a graduate assistant in theory at Ohio University. His first full-time position was at West Texas State University, where he also played principal horn in the Amarillo Symphony. His composing and his work in the AS impressed its conductor, Clyde Roller, and Haddad was brought to the attention of the Interlochen Arts Academy and invited to teach there.

Haddad thoroughly enjoyed teaching at Interlochen, where he gave lessons to horn students who held positions in major orchestras. While teaching at Interlochen, he also performed in a woodwind quintet staffed by other professional performers who were also teaching there. They toured nationally and on one occasion performed on the NBC Today show, playing a work written by Haddad.

As a performer, Haddad soloed with the Amarillo Symphony, Denver Little Symphony, Eastman Wind ensemble and the Scandinavian Symphony. He also served as a C. G. Conn soloist and clinician.

A published composer, he studied with Ernst von Dohnonyi, who had been a student of Johannes Brahms. Haddad has written for every possible ensemble including band, orchestra, choir, chamber groups and others. While he has written a considerable amount of music and materials for educational use, he now prefers composing solos and music for band and ensembles. According to performance records from ASCAP, his music, which is published by four major publishers, is performed frequently around the world.

After teaching at WTSU, Haddad went to the University of Kentucky. While there he became a Seventh-day Adventist. Although he was slated to receive tenure, he found that weekend performance expectations and Sabbath observance could not be reconciled and he eventually left. He served briefly as chair of the music program at Southwestern Adventist University.

He was living in Marietta, Ohio, when he died on May 19, 2017, at age 83. He was survived by rhree sons, Robert Lupton, Ronald Lupton and Richard; and a brother Arthur and several nieces and nephews.


Sources: Conversations with and letters from Donald Haddad, 2000 to 2003, including detailed biographical letter dated 7 September 2000; Sigma Alpha Iota listing, 30 November 2002; lankford .com/obituary/donald-haddad and other online sources.