Bill Patterson

Bill Patterson

Principal Timpanist for the San Antonio Lyric opera

Bill Patterson’s professional career began at the age of 17 with the Corpus Christi Symphony. At age 19 he performed the Paul Creston “Concertino for Marimba and Orchestra” with the composer conducting. He subsequently graduated with honors from the University of Houston and then won a position with the prestigious "President’s Own," U. S. Marine Band in Washington D.C. where he performed for numerous events in the White House as well as national broadcasts, recordings and tours. He also holds a Master’s of Performance from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. His teachers include the renown Alan Abel, formerly of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the legendary snare drummer Buster Bailey formerly of the New York Philharmonic and Chris Lamb currently with the New York Philharmonic, as well as Tony Ames and Fred Begun of the Washington National Symphony.


He is also Principal Timpanist for the San Antonio Lyric opera, and has been a frequent performer with the Houston, Austin, Corpus Christi and Mid-Texas symphony orchestras. His passion for music education includes ongoing outreach in the public schools, working with directors and students with clinics, master classes, performances, as well as being a frequent consultant with school districts developing curriculum for percussion.


He has been a featured clinician for Texas Music Educator’s Association, Texas Bandmaster’s Association and the Percussive Arts Society’s International Conference (PASIC), and has been on the faculties of Trinity University, St. Mary’s University, Texas Lutheran College and the Trevino Performing Arts School in Laredo, Texas, as well as a clinician and endorser for Sabian Cymbals. He maintains a very active teaching studio in San Antonio and coaches players at all levels. He has developed numerous innovative approaches for teaching advanced/professional techniques to younger players. He has collaborated with Dr. Annette Zaharoff—a leading doctor of Sports Medicine—in developing a unique program for accelerated training and injury prevention, as well as Dr. Alma Thomas of England, a world renowned Sports Psychologist specializing in the mental/competitive training of musicians and Olympian athletes.


His work with younger players includes coaching percussion for the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, as well as collaborations with the "Make a Wish Foundation." He is often called upon to design and build instruments for the percussion section. He has built a set of low register chimes for the orchestra, as well as most of the snare drums he currently plays. He is also the inventor and owner of, and his cable snares are now used by almost every major orchestra in the world.


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