William MoerschAssociate Professor and Chair of Percussion
B.M. (with High Distinction) and M.M. (percussion performance), University of Michigan.
William Moersch is internationally renowned as a marimba virtuoso, chamber and symphonic percussionist, recording artist, and educator. He has appeared as soloist with symphonic orchestras and in recital throughout North and South America, Europe, the Far East, and Australia. A regularly featured artist at international percussion festivals, he is perhaps best known for his solo compact disc, The Modern Marimba," and for commissioning over the past twenty-five years much of the prominent modern repertoire for solo marimba, from composers including Richard Rodney Bennett, Jacob Druckman, Eric Ewazen, Libby Larsen, Steven Mackey, Roger Reynolds, Gunther Schuller, Joseph Schwantner, and Andrew Thomas. In addition, he was the first marimbist ever to receive a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowship and has also been honored by NEA Recording and Consortium Commissioning grants.
Chair of the Percussion Division at the University of Illinois since 1998, Mr. Moersch previously created graduate degree programs in marimba performance at the Peabody Conservatory and Rutgers University, and has presented master classes throughout the world. A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he was a scholarship student of Charles Owen, Mr. Moersch was a free-lance musician in New York City for over two decades. He performed with the American Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and as a featured soloist in the New York Shakespeare Festival's Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance and on numerous motion picture soundtracks. Currently, he is Principal Timpanist/Percussionist of Sinfonia da Camera, Artistic Director of New Music Marimba, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Percussive Arts Society.
William Moersch is an Artist Endorser for Pearl/Adams Percussion, SABIAN cymbals, and Innovative Percussion mallets
With the sheer number of instruments and musical applications, percussion is a large discipline. My responsibility as a teacher is to provide my students with the necessary skills and knowledge for them to succeed in the field of music. Key to their eventual success is an understanding of stylistic vocabulary and structure, a concept of sound quality and the ability to listen critically. Individual applied study focuses on the major instrument areas of snare drum/multiple percussion, keyboard percussion, timpani and drum set. Weekly studio master classes also cover hand percussion, accessory percussion, orchestral repertoire, solo and chamber repertoire, improvisation, performance psychology, injury prevention, entrepreneurship, keyboard literacy and instrument maintenance. Small ensemble experience, both conducted and non-conducted, is provided by the Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band and World Percussion Ensemble. In addition, over the eight years that I have been at the University of Illinois, I have arranged for 44 guest artists to visit our campus and interact with the students in clinics and master classes.