Terry McQuilkin, a native of Los Angeles, received his bachelor of music, magna cum laude, and master of music degrees at the University of Southern California, where his teachers included Morton Lauridsen, James Hopkins, Anthony Vazzana and William Kraft. He received Departmental Honors upon receiving both the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees, and was elected to the music honor society of Pi Kappa Lambda. After completing his master's degree, he taught music at several Southland community colleges, and for five years taught instrumental music at Robert A. Millikan Jr. High School in Sherman Oaks. He also directed area church choirs and taught clarinet. Between 1980 and 1990 he regularly contributed reviews and features to the music pages of the Los Angeles Times.
In 1990, Terry McQuilkin moved to Eugene to begin advanced study at the University of Oregon, where his teachers included Harold Owen and Robert Kyr. While a graduate student he taught music theory, musicianship, and music literature at the University of Oregon. In June, 1995 he completed his doctorate in music composition, and was elected to the Oregon chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda.
The composer's catalogue includes works for solo piano, chamber ensemble, band, orchestra and chorus. A number of his compositions were written for educational use, and he has received commissions from school ensembles on both coasts. Partly through funding received from Meet the Composer, he was commissioned in 1997 by Downingtown Senior High School to write a multi-movement work for chorus and symphony orchestra. The text for this work grew out of a service-learning assignment at DSHS in which students visited residents at an assisted living center, kept journals and composed poetry; McQuilkin's composition, The Color of Memory, is a setting of poetry written by students and residents the retirement home in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. In Oregon, Dr. McQuilkin has fulfilled commissions from Roosevelt Middle School in Eugene, Forest Grove High School, and Roseburg High School. Among his other noteworthy compositions are Three Chorale Intradas for brass quintet, Partita Antiqua for wind quintet, Circles (for 16 clarinetists who surround the audience) and Perceval's Triumph for band.
Terry McQuilkin has also written a full length viola concerto, which received its premiere in the Los Angeles area in 1996. A number of his contributions to the repertoire of string orchestra music for educational use are published by Niel A. Kjos Music, and his Season of Erin, for SSA chorus is published by Southern Music.
Terry McQuilkin currently holds an appointment on the faculty of the University of Oregon School of Music in Eugene, Oregon. He is married to pianist Ellen McQuilkin, who is an active member of the Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA) and teaches piano at her own studio.
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