DR. WILLIAM "BILL" MOFFIT served as the third director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band, from 1981 to 1988 and was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus of Band after his retirement.
Purdue Bands was deeply saddened to report the death of Dr. William C. “Bill” Moffit at 3 a.m. Wednesday, March 5, 2008, in Jacksonville, FL, where he resided with his wife Jeannette. Moffit, who was 82, served as the third director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band from 1981 to 1988. He was named Indiana’s Music Arranger Laureate in 1988 by the Indiana General Assembly, the same year he was awarded the title of Professor of Bands Emeritus.
A native of New Philadephia, OH, Dr. Moffit got hooked on music when the circus came to his town. After listening to the calliope and other circus music all day, he returned home and told his mother he was really interested in music. The following Monday he went to the 7th grade band director and told him he wanted to be in the band.
After he graduated from high school, Dr. Moffit joined the Coast Guard and played in the Coast Guard Band in Florida. He became the first teenager to perform in the Coast Guard Jazz Band. After World War II was over Dr. Moffit attended Baldwin Wallace on the GI Bill. From there he became Director of Bands at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio.
Upon leaving Tipp City, Dr. Moffit had a long successful career as a college director. He was the Assistant Marching Band Director at Michigan State, Marching Band Director at University of Houston and Marching Band Director at Purdue University.
Dr. Moffit was an arranger of a large amount of marching band music. His Sound Power series included some 450 titles. More than a million people heard his arrangements as he directed the Fanfare Trumpets at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984 and the Pan American Games in 1986.
A Moffit brainstorm titled “Patterns in Motion” featured Purdue band members in constantly changing kaleidoscopic patterns on the field. Based on a four-person squad system, “Patterns in Motions” would sweep the nation as the new style in marching with many college, university, and high school bands adopting the style. The influences of “Patterns in Motion” are still being felt today, and have led to many more changes in marching band style.