Bill was educated at Ayr Academy in the 1960’s after which
he attended The Royal Scottish Academy of Music (now the Royal Conservatoire of
Scotland) graduating in 1969. There followed a spell at the Faculty of Music at
The University of Edinburgh from which he graduated in 1971. He harboured
thoughts of continuing as a student and looked into continuing studies at
Trinity College in Dublin to do a PhD in Celtic music common to Ireland and
Scotland but realisation set in because he had met and proposed to his wife Liz
by this time! Dublin was replaced by Jordanhill College of Education and the
possibility of three years in Dublin next to the Guinness factory, disappeared.
A lifetime of teaching began in 1972 first in Marr College
in Troon followed by Queen Margaret Academy, Ayr and finally, in 1979, Kyle
Academy in Ayr where he remained for the next thirty years.
This period was a time of many new developments and Bill
became involved with the development of new courses and examinations for the
then Scottish Examination Board, now The Scottish Qualifications
Authority. He has been an examiner since
1983 and in 1996 became the Principal Examiner for the newly develop
Certificate of Sixth Year Studies.
During all of this time teaching Bill also was very involved
as a practical musician. He has bee (and still is) a Church Organist since 1964
and has been organists in various Churches in Ayrshire. He has been in his
current post in St Andrew’s Church, Ayr since 1972.
Another major musical interest is as a conductor (not on the
buses), both orchestral and operatic. One of his most interesting concerts was
a performance of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ with a complete symphony orchestra.
Apparently that performance was the first time the full orchestral score had
been realised since the album was produced; so Bill was the second person to
use it. Of course, there had been many other arrangements made but this was the
second time, allegedly, the full orchestral version was realised.
Bill is married to Liz, has two daughters, each of whom is
married and has two grandchildren – Daniel and ‘Ollie’ (Oliver). He joined
Rotary in 1992, the year Liz’s father (Douglas Graham) was District Governor.
The catalyst had been the District Conference at Aviemore in October 1991 which
all of the family had attended. His first ‘job’ in Rotary in the Rotary Club of
Alloway was as Foundation Convenor. At that time he knew very little of
Rotary’s own charity but as we move towards the centenary of the Rotary
Foundation in February 2017, it is his intention to encourage clubs to
celebrate this anniversary in as many ways as possible.
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