Faculty Spotlight: Bill Purse

bill purseProfessor Bill Purse is Chair of Contemporary Music Media and Jazz and Professor of Music Technology and Guitar at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh), where he has been 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 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.

This summer, Purse will be teaching for the GAMA Teaching Guitar Workshop, which will be held at North Hills High School the week of July 18-22. GAMA is intended for those who are looking to start or enhance a classroom guitar program over five days of professional development training. Graduate credit (optional) is available through VanderCook College of Music. To register for GAMA, please visit guitaredunet.org.

Bill Purse has also recently released a new album entitled Tribute, saying, "The title Tribute is a sonic tribute to Duquesne University faculty, students, family, and alums. Tribute is also a turning point where I decided to be my own A&R representative-finding outstanding new works for Tribute rather than composing all of the material myself." 

Purse 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.

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 (Warner Bros.), as well as 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.

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Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

It's time for bigger goals
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