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william purse

William Purse

Chair of Contemporary Music Media and Jazz; Professor, Music Technology and Guitar
Mary Pappert School of Music
Guitar, Music Technology

School of Music, Room 313
Phone: 412.396.5866


M.M., Guitar Performance/Composition, Duquesne University, 1987
B.M., Guitar Performance, Duquesne University, 1981

Professor Bill Purse, Chair of the music technology degree program and guitar department at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh), where he was instrumental in the development of the music technology graduate and undergraduate programs. Purse received his bachelor of music and master of music at Duquesne University, as well as an EduCom (Education Communication) grant for study with Dr. Carol Lennox at Mills College for multimedia development in 1990. Purse has studied composition with Dr. Joseph Wilcox Jenkins at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Duquesne University School of Music. In addition, Purse has studied privately with Howard Massey at the Center for Electronic Music in New York, and with guitar virtuoso Pat Martino.

Purse has received Duquesne University's 1996 Presidents award for excellence in scholarship and a 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award for guitar pedagogy and performance. He is also an honored member of the Lexington Who's Who. Purse has pioneered the use of interactive CD-ROMs, MIDI files, hard disk recording, and music score publication in classroom and private teaching at Duquesne University. He has specialized in developing accelerated courses for mastering the guitar, The Guitar Atlas and Basic Guitar Structures, and has written several books for the Warner Brothers, Ultimate Beginner Tech Start Series(tm): Home Recording Basics, Belwin's 21st Century Guitar Ensemble Arrangements for Europa and Classical Gas. One of his original jazz compositions -Rainforest- is featured in Mel Bay's -Master Anthology of Jazz Solos Volume Two-.

As an educational consultant, Purse is a frequent and well-known lecturer and clinician on guitar synthesis and computer/MIDI applications for the guitar and classroom. Purse has been featured in articles published in: Electronic Musician, Guitar For The Practicing Musician, MIDI Guitarist, Roland Users Guide, Korg Pro-View, and Guitar Player Magazine. He has developed an interactive computer software series entitled "Guitar Atlas" for Lyrrus Inc. and has authored -Bach Chorales: 34 Sight-reading Studies For The Guitar- (Mel Bay Publications), 'Guitar Expressions' (Co Author) and -Home Recording Basics' for Warner Bros. and -Finale Primer,' -Notepad Primer- and -PrintMusic! Primer" (Backbeat Publications). Purse is the past chair and present member of the MENC/GAMA national Guitar Education Team for revitalizing guitar in education helping over 650,000 young students study guitar in their classrooms nationally.

As a composer, arranger, and producer in radio and television, Purse has produced and released several albums of original music, including Catch 22's Reappearance, Sly on Life, and Aergo's Free. He has toured worldwide with the synthesizer ensemble Aergo and Purse has produced numerous critically acclaimed albums including:

-Rachmaninoff by Nissman Volume I & -Rachmaninoff by Nissman Volume II; Concert Favorites Volume I, Volume II, Volume III & Volume IV for artist Barbara Nissman (Pierian Recording Society) all four recordings were GRAMMY nomination submission for classical recording consideration, Mussorgsky -Songs and Dances of Death / Shostakovich Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Op. 145 Guenko Guechev (Gega New/Bulgaria-Sony International), several tracks on Ken Karsh's -Ventana- (Alanna Records) and in addition released several albums of original music 'sonic Art- (Ridgewood Studios), Catch 22's -Reappearance-, 'sly on Life-, and Aergo's Free (Pursestring Productions). 'On Fire- by Amanda Ford (Alanna Records) GRAMMY nomination submission for Producer.