Bill Purse

Alfred Author - Bill Purse

Bill Purse is a full professor, chair of the guitar and music technology departments at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh), where he was instrumental in the development of two new majors: undergraduate music technology degree and graduate music technology degree 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; multimedia development in 1990. Additionally, 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 and was initiated into the Duquesne University Office of Research’s Hall of Fame in 2008.

Purse is the chair of the NAfME/NAMM/GAMA (National Association for Music Educators / National Association of Music Merchants / Guitar / Accessories Marketing Association) Guitar Task Force, which was created to revitalize classroom guitar in K-12 education. This successful task force has retrained more than 3,200 teachers, who in turn have taught more than 780,000 young guitarists. Purse is also the editor of the NAfME publication “Strategies for Teaching Guitar in Middle and High School.” 


Purse has pioneered the use of interactive multimedia, distance learning, MIDI/hard disk recording, and desktop music publication for his classroom and private teaching at Duquesne University. He has specialized in developing publications for mastering guitar and music technology such as the Warner Brothers, Ultimate Beginner Tech Start Series(tm): Home Recording Basics, Belwin’s 21st Century Guitar Ensemble Arrangements for Europa and Classical Gas. And In addition co-authored Sound Innovations for Guitar Method with Aaron Stang (Alfred) and also Guitar Expressions. Purse is also the author of the highly acclaimed primer series for Coda Music’s Finale family: The NotePad Primer, The PrintMusic! Primer and The Finale Primer published by Back Beat Publications, and one of his original jazz compositions “Rainforest” is featured in Mel Bay’s “Master Anthology of Jazz Solos Volume Two:Featuring Solos by the World's Finest Jazz Guitarists!”

Bill Purse is in addition a composer who is nationally recognized for his major musical compositions and themes that reflect his love of the Western Pennsylvania area. The recent world premiere of “Kennywood’s Open” (Washington Symphony) is also a work in his continuing tradition and focuses on Pittsburgh’s national historic landmark “Kennywood Park.” A previous musical example of his approach to this subject matter was his composition “Allegheny Sketches” for guitarist Ken Karsh and Wind Symphony (superbly performed by the Duquesne University Wind Ensemble, Carnegie Hall Pittsburgh and the North Hills Wind Symphony).

He has released a new solo CD (fall 2010) “Sonic Art” featuring Sean Jones, James Houlick, Charles Stegeman, Ken Karsh Mark Koch, Jeff Mangone and George Jones. Purse has produced numerous critically acclaimed albums such as: “On Fire” by Amanda Ford (Alanna Records) and gained GRAMMY nomination submission for Producer, “Rachmaninoff by Nissman Volume I” GRAMMY nomination submission for Engineer & “Rachmaninoff by Nissman Volume II”; Concert Favorites Volume I, Volume II, GRAMMY nomination submission for Engineer; Volume III, he has also engineered and produced Volume IV, Volume V & Volume VI for artist Barbara Nissman (Pierian Recording Society), 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 Catch 22’s “Reappearance”, “Sly on Life”, and Aergo’s Free (Pursestring Productions).