CHANCE, JOHN BARNES [BARNEY]
CHANCE, JOHN BARNES [BARNEY] (1932–1972). John Barnes (Barney) Chance, composer and arranger, was born in Beaumont, Texas, on November 20, 1932. Chance was purportedly a descendant of Robert Chance, a Mississippi gambler who settled in Southeast Texas in the late 1800s. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Floyd Chance, were natives of Southeast Texas. Chance was a prolific composer for band and wind ensemble. His music became known for its tonal and romantic style and its dependence on unique rhythms and a secure command of instrumentation. At the University of Texas, from which he earned the degrees of bachelor of music and master of music, he studied composition with James Clifton Williams, Kent Kennan, and Paul Pick. In 1956–57 he was honored with the Carl Owens Award for student composition. After college he played timpani for the Austin Symphony Orchestra before becoming an arranger for the Fourth and Eighth United States Army bands. While serving in Seoul, South Korea, as a member of the Eighth U.S. Army Band, Chance came across a pentatonic Korean folk song that served as the inspiration for his 1965 composition Variations on a Korean Folk Song, which became his best-known work. It featured gong, temple blocks, and other exotic equipment in the percussion section. The Northwestern University Band premiered the work in March 1966 at the American Bandmasters Association convention, where the composition won the Ostwald Award. Some of Chance's other important works include Incantation and Dance, Elegy, Blue Lake Overture, and Symphony No. 2. After leaving the army Chance held the position of composer-in-residence at the Ford Foundation Young Composers Project in Greensboro, North Carolina, from 1960 to 1962. He joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky in 1966 and taught there until his untimely death on August 16, 1972. He was accidentally electrocuted while working in the backyard of his home in Lexington, Kentucky.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, William Pugatch, "Chance, John Barnes [Barney]," accessed May 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fch71.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles