Rick Coulter Passes Baton to William Kenny as New Conductor of WSO Billtown Brass Band

Rick Coulter Passes Baton to William Kenny as New Conductor of WSO Billtown Brass Band

The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra (WSO) announces that Rick Coulter, the founding director and conductor of the Billtown Brass Band (BBB), is stepping down after 24 years of dedicated service. The WSO is pleased to appoint William Kenny as the new conductor of the Billtown Brass Band.

The WSO’s Billtown Brass Band was established in 2000 to fulfill the need for a smaller, more portable ensemble under the WSO umbrella. The ensemble is organized in the style of a traditional British brass band, featuring a full array of brass instruments and a talented team of percussionists. Under Rick Coulter’s leadership, the Billtown Brass has become a beloved and integral part of the WSO community.

Rick Coulter’s contributions to the Billtown Brass Band and the wider Williamsport area are immeasurable. For 25 years, he worked with the Williamsport Area School District as a curriculum supervisor for K-12 essentials and secondary academics. His leadership and passion for music education earned Williamsport numerous accolades, including the Best Communities for Music Education in America award.

Rick has also been a dynamic figure in arts education administration and advocacy, sharing his expertise through lectures and performances. Outside of his professional endeavors, Rick finds balance in life through cooking, gardening, and mountain climbing.

Reflecting on his departure, Rick Coulter shared, “It has been an incredible journey with the Billtown Brass Band. I am proud of all we have accomplished and look forward to seeing the ensemble continue to flourish under new leadership.”

The WSO is thrilled to welcome William Kenny as the new conductor of the Billtown Brass Band. William Kenny is Professor of Music at Bucknell University, where he conducts the university Symphonic Band and teaches French horn, conducting, and a variety of other music courses. In 2022, he was honored with Bucknell’s “Class of 1956 Lectureship for Inspirational Teaching.”

Kenny is the founder and conductor of the Penn Central Wind Band (PCWB), an ensemble comprising professional musicians and music teachers from throughout the region. The PCWB is a recipient of the Sudler Silver Scroll, an award administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation recognizing community and adult concert bands of outstanding musical excellence.

As a performer, Kenny served for 30 years as principal horn of the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra. He continues performing with the Orchestra of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale and as hornist with the Commonwealth Brass Quintet. At Bucknell, Kenny served as Associate Dean of Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, Chair of the Department of Music, and was elected by his colleagues to chair the 400-member university faculty. A graduate of Oregon State University, William received both his master’s degree and doctorate in music education from the University of Illinois.

WSO Music Director, Gerardo Edelstein, commented, “We are deeply grateful to Rick Coulter for his vision, dedication, and leadership over the past two decades. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors. We are also excited to have William Kenny join our team and look forward to the next chapter for the Billtown Brass Band.”

The WSO invites the community to join them in welcoming William Kenny at their upcoming concert on August 17, 2024, at 7:00pm at Central Oak Heights, Milton.