William Vits has been Principal Percussionist with the Grand Rapids Symphony since 1979. He received his Master’s degree in Orchestral Performance from the University of Michigan as a student of Charles Owen (Philadelphia Orchestra). He received his undergraduate degree from Ball State University after studying with Dr. Erwin Mueller throughout high school. He began percussion in Nashville, TN in 1964 with James Wolfe and Farrell Morris of the Nashville Symphony.
Bill is an active performer in all styles of music, both as a percussionist and recording producer. He has appeared as a soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony on Lollipops, Family, Pops and Classical Series. Locally, he is well known for his children’s school programs and award winning music video “POP UP”. He has also collaborated with local artists on several short animated pieces for “Sesame Street” that are still shown around the world. Bill has also been the Principal Percussionist with the Colorado Philharmonic and the Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival in Santa Cruz, California.
Over the past twenty-five years Bill has performed with Bob Hope, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lewis, Harry Blackstone, Jr., the “Three Irish Tenors” and numerous touring Broadway shows. When asked what his favorite music is, his stock response is “I haven’t heard it yet!”.
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