William Mac Davis was born in 1953 in Starkville, Mississippi and spent most of his early life in various locations in that state, graduating from high school in Raymond, Mississippi in 1971. He received the B.M. and M.M. degrees in theory and composition from the University of Mississippi where he studied with Raymond Liebau and Andrew Fox and the PhD. in composition from the University of Utah where his mentors were Vladimir Ussachevsky and Ramiro Cortes. In 1984 he was selected as a composition fellow to the Petit Jean Art Song Festival in Arkansas where he worked with the leading American song composer, Ned Rorem. Two years later, in 1986, he spent a semester at the Eastman School of Music studying with Samuel Adler.
In 1979 he was named to the faculty of the School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas where he taught for thirty-two years, retiring in 2011 as Associate Dean and Professor of Theory and Composition. After his retirement from Southwestern he taught at the University of Texas at Arlington and at Mercer University. He now resides with his wife, Wendi, and their two children in Southlake, Texas where he continues to actively compose and conduct.
2019 saw the release, by Centaur Records, of his first commercial recording, FEARFUL SYMMETRY, which includes all four of his song cycles and a couple of additional songs. The works were performed by his longtime friends and collaborators, soprano, Lynda Poston-Smith, and her pianist husband, Robert Carl Smith.
His works have won numerous awards, including the Ithaca College Choral Composition Award, the Dallas Wind Symphony Fanfare Composition Award, and the Delius Festival Vocal Composition Award. In 1983 Davis was a speaker and guest composer at the Mississippi Music Teachers Association annual meeting, and in 1989 he was a featured composer at the Sam Houston State University New Music Festival. He has received numerous commissions from individuals, ensembles, schools and churches and his music has been published by Theodore Presser, Southern Music Company, Hinshaw Music, TUBA Press and Lovebird Music. Many of his compositions are now, or soon will be, available directly from the composer through this site.
Among the many outstanding artists who have performed his music are Tony Baker, John Mueller, Donald Palmire, Lynda Poston-Smith, Robert Carl Smith, and David Robinson. The Fort Worth Symphony, the U.S. Army Orchestra and Brass Quintet, the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Houston Civic Symphony, the Colonial Tuba Quartet, and the Tidewater Winds are just a few of the many notable ensembles that have played his compositions over the years.