Composer and pianist William McClelland was born in Detroit and grew up near Goodison, Michigan. He studied at the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the Longy School of Music of Bard College and Emerson College. His teachers included Peter Winkler, Robert Ceely, George Balch Wilson, Nicholas Van Slyck and David Patterson. Over the course of a long career Mr. McClelland has written a wide variety of music in many styles. His works have been presented throughout North America and he has been the recipient of a number of awards and commissions. His recording of choral works on Albany Records, The Revenge of Hamish, by the William Appling Singers & Orchestra, has received international acclaim. He has collaborated on works with author Ian Frazier, his brother Thomas McClelland, and visual artists Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid. As pianist Mr. McClelland performs with his wife, singer Jean McClelland, in programs of classic American theater songs, and for many years he was leader of the New York City ensemble The Feetwarmers, whose recording Centrifugal Swing was released on Muzen Records. As pianist he has also premiered works by other composers, including John Cage, Carl Ruggles and David Patterson. He has acted as musical director and/or performed on keyboards for theatrical productions including those by the New York Shakespeare Festival. Mr. McClelland is also a record producer, notably of two recordings of early American choral music featuring the William Appling Singers & Orchestra: Wake Ev'ry Breath, choral music of William Billings, on New World Records; and Shall We Gather, 19th century American hymns and spirituals, on Albany Records. He produced composer Richard Wilson's recording of choral works, Stresses in the Peaceable Kingdom, and pianist William Appling's recording of the complete piano works of Scott Joplin. He has served on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts (Boston), and the Elizabeth Seeger School (NYC). Mr. McClelland's recent work includes a composition for orchestra inspired by passages from the journal of Henry David Thoreau, entitled What Are These Rivers?

Mr. McClelland has produced two recordings of early American choral music, including Wake Ev'ry Breath, choral music of America's first native-born composer, William Billings, on New World Records, and Shall We Gather, American hymns and spirituals from the 19th century, on Albany Records. He has also produced recordings by pianist William Appling of music by Scott Joplin and J.S. Bach as well as Appling’s recording of Scott Joplin’s complete piano works.

In addition to his work as a musician, McClelland is an active environmentalist and founded a company, Bag Snaggers, Inc. The Bag Snagger is a patented tool and the only one of its kind designed to remove plastic bags and other debris from trees and other hard-to-reach locations. He is also active in several organizations, including Food & Water Watch, working to stop the construction of fossil-fuel burning power plants and promote greater use of renewable energy, particularly in the New Jersey area.

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