Living in the mountains of North Wales for 20 years and since 1992 leading music workshops at the Findhorn Foundation, in 2003 Bill moved to Forres, where he quickly established the Forres Big Choir with Kate O'Connell who he has known since the 1980s.
Bill's musical skills and activities are diverse and wide ranging:
— His song teaching work includes leading regular open-access choirs, workshops of various lengths, and one-to-one teaching.
— Instrumentally Bill runs so-called scratch bands using music from the East European circle dance repertoire to give musicians of all abilities the opportunity to play music for dancers.
— His performance work includes jazz and folk based work in various settings and formats, ranging from wedding jazz gigs in posh hotels to folk festivals in muddy fields.
— His passion for songs from the Republic of Georgia includes both performance and teaching.
Trained on classical piano, Bill discovered jazz at University. There he experienced for the first time the joy of musicians playing together and for other people, creating an atmosphere that enveloped and enfolded the audience and enabled them to have a good time. He has been playing in bands ever since. As a church choirboy Bill experienced the power of communal singing.
His interest in circle dance came from a joy of the music and witnessing the use of live music to move people in dance in ways that were different from the usual forms of dance we see in the West. That led to learning the piano accordion and darabuka (percussion), and then leading instrumental workshops empowering people in ways they thought impossible.
For the last 25 years Bill has used these same skills in choirs, and this is now his greatest teaching joy, running regular groups (e.g. The Forres Big Choir and men's choir Sounds Deep) as well as workshops.
Above all, Bill believes that music is there to move us, to feed our souls and to bring us together, for our health and for our wellbeing.
Bill is a member of The Natural Voice Practitioners' Network (www.naturalvoice.net), a UK wide grouping of community choir leaders committed to helping us all find our voice and sing. He leads music and voice workshops in the UK and abroad, most recently in Brazil and Argentina.
“ The Forres Big Choir is a total delight and at least in part compensates me for saying a sad goodbye to the choir I led in Wales. A place of empowerment and self-discovery. ”