Teacher and trombonist from Sedalia, Missouri, who attended the University of Kansas, where he acquired his B.M.E., then went on to Catholic University, where he acquired his Masters of Music degree. Oh, and he also happens to hold an M.B.A. which was conferred upon him by the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
Uncle Sam came calling and Bill wound up in the United States Air Force, where he played with the Airmen of Note, which sort of evolved into Bob Bunton’s Late Sixties Band, with whom Bill performed from 1966 through 1969. Eventually, he made the great egress to L.A. and embarked upon an extremely successful career as a classical musician and session player. In 1979, he appeared on Frank Sinatra’s boxed set, Trilogy.
About a decade later, he was instrumental; pun intended; in the development of Aequale Music, which grew out of Trombone Trinity, as their coach and teacher, and shuffling up their repertoire to incorporate more chamber music. Around the same time, Bill was busy performing chamber music himself under the umbrella of the Southwest Chamber Music Society, Inc., as a member of the Los Angeles Brass. On 3rd June 1988, they performed a program that ranged from the Renaissance to the 20th century, including Tomaso Albinoni’s “St. Mark” sonata and Jack Gale’s arrangement of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess suite. The group reprised both works on 7th June 1991, along with a generous helping of 20th-century fare, including works by Eugene Bozza, John Cheetham, and Herman Stein.
In 1992, Bill recorded Changing Colors with Jim Self : They would also collaborate on The Big Stretch and My America. The following year pitted Bill’s trombone against Arturo Sandoval’s trumpet on Dream Come True.
In 1998, he released his own solo album, entitled Balancing Act: The title reflected the wide and variegated nature of the selections, which ranged from Classical composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann to modern composers such as Paul Creston and Anthony Plog. He also took time out to record with Neil Diamond on The Movie Album: As Time Goes By.
As time went by, Bill would record on several movie soundtracks; actually, “several” is an egregious understatement, as his credits are listed in the hundreds; but not before ringing in the Yuletide in 1999 with Amy Grant on A Christmas to Remember.
In 2002, he performed on three vastly different film scores, Antwone Fisher, Ice Age, and Signs. The following year was no less eclectic: He was the principal trombonist on the soundtracks of Peter Pan and Scary Movie 3, and was also featured on All My Concertos with Tommy Pederson and the Rosemary Clooney retrospective, The Best of the Concord Years. It is almost hard to believe he found time to squeeze in a pair of concerts, within nine days of each other, in October 2003, both with the UCLA Faculty Brass Quintet: One was a collaboration with the Boston Brass at Schoenberg Hall and the other was part of L.A. Brass Spectacular, in which he also appeared with the L.A. Trombone Choir.
In 2004, he recorded the sequel to the Grammy-winning Chavez: Complete Chamber Music, Vol. 1, and reunited with Jim Self on Tricky Lix. Then, it was back into the movie studio for the scores of The Interpreter, Meet the Fockers, and The Sentinel. Bill was heavily involved with the Mike Barone Big Band at this time, as well, recording three albums in two years: Live 2005, Metropole, and By Request.
In 2007, he performed on the soundtracks of August Rush and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, whilst fulfilling his obligation as principal trombonist of the L.A. Opera in its 2007-2008 season, a position he also holds in the Pasadena Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra . His more recent releases include Randy Newman’s Harps and Angels and the soundtrack of Wall*e.
In music education he has been on the faculties of California State University in Northridge, UCLA, and the University of California in Santa Barbara.
Here he is on trombone with the Daversa Big Band (he’s the one with glasses)….