Born in Watertown, N.Y. (about an hour north of Syracuse), Bill grew up in Adams Center, N.Y. He earned an A.A.S. degree with a concentration in music at Onondaga Community College before earning a B.M. in voice from the Boston Conservatory. Before coming to Juilliard, he spent a semester at Brooklyn College as a phys. ed. major and did some consulting work for i609 Enterprises (a friend’s computer company).
How long have you worked at Juilliard, and what do you remember about your first day?
I have worked at Juilliard for a little more than three years and I actually remember my interview more than my first day. First, I chatted with Tunde Giwa, the director of I.T., and staff member Steve Bryant, and then met with the entire I.T. staff in the old conference room near where the training lab used to be. They asked me all the job-related questions and then Jeremy Pinquist asked me what kind of music I liked and if I minded Phish being played at a “reasonable” volume. I remember thinking, “I’m gonna like it here!”
What job at Juilliard would you like to try out for a day and why?
I would actually like to be one of the construction workers, so I could see this makeover from the inside. Besides, the hard hat is a good look.
What is the strangest or most memorable job you’ve ever had and what made it so?
I worked in a cheese factory the summer before my freshman year in college. I helped make 700-pound blocks of cheese, cheese curd, and bagged whey. After my shift, I would smell like sour milk, salt, and whey. My girlfriend at the time did not appreciate it when I would stop by before showering. It was a pretty awful job, but the hours made it even worse: 6 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., four days a week!
If out of the blue your boss said to take the day off, what would you do with your free time?
My wife is an opera singer and travels quite a bit, so I would hop on a plane and make a surprise visit. Hopefully she would have the day off as well, and we could spend the day frolicking about.
Many Juilliard staff members are also artists. Are you?
I used to be a full-time musician with the a cappella group Five O’Clock Shadow. That was a great experience but extremely draining. Now my musical outlet is singing in the choir at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Times Square (better known as Smokey Mary’s).We have a few masses during the week throughout the year, especially during Holy Week, but for the most part, we sing on Sundays.
What other pursuits are you passionate about?
I really enjoy working out and playing sports. I spent a few years working as a personal trainer, which was a great learning experience. Whether it’s with the Juilliard softball team, golfing with my I.T. peeps, or pickup basketball, I just like being active. I would watch just about any sporting event. My teams are the Dallas Cowboys, the Boston Red Sox, and the Syracuse Orange. The thing I enjoy most, though, is seeing my wife perform. She’s fantastic on stage and really gets into whatever role she is playing, especially the pants roles!
What was the best vacation you’ve had and what made that trip so special?
My wife was singing with Hawaii Opera Theater and I flew over to spend a week with her. It was really incredible! We spent most of our time on Oahu going to Waikiki Beach and enjoying the spectacular sunsets. After the opera closed, we flew to the big island for a few days and drove to the southernmost part of the United States. I made sure to call my co-workers from there, just to let them know I had phone service.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
The a cappella group I was in was featured in a contest on a VH1 special called “Best Unsigned Band.” We didn’t win, but it was a great experience.
What is your favorite thing about New York City?
I grew up in a very small town (about 1,200 people) in northern New York and I still prefer the small-town feel to a big city. That being said, the best thing about living in New York City is that friends and family are constantly visiting us. We become tourists then.
What book are you reading right now?
I just finished reading a book on the P90X workout. It’s not really a book and it didn’t have too many big words on it, so it was right up my alley! I’m letting my brain rest for a bit before the next read.