WILLIAM C. SMITH is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in Chicago, IL. He performs primarily as a classical guitarist, either solo works, or with his duo partner and guitarist, Paul Witkamp, with works ranging from traditional repertoire to their own arrangements and compositions.
He took up the guitar at the age of 11 and was primarily self-taught for the first 7 years of playing. He first began consistent instruction during his undergraduate studies at Ball State University, where he received a BM in classical guitar performance. There he studied primarily under guitarist, Paul Reilly. He also studied jazz guitar with Shawn Salmon, and contemporary electric guitar technique with Derek Johnson. After graduating in 2013 he moved to Chicago where he pursued his MM in classical guitar performance at DePaul University. There he continued his guitar instruction under the direction of Mark Maxwell. He became increasingly familiar with contemporary classical music through his work with DePaul’s contemporary music ensemble, Ensemble 20+, led by Michael Lewanski. He was fortunate to work closely with the composition faculty in various other performance and educational programs.
William has been especially active as a teacher for most of the 16 years that he has played guitar. Within a year of playing he was teaching what he could to his peers, family, friends, and individuals in his church community. By college he was offering instruction to students preparing for their auditions into the guitar program. Since moving to Chicago he has become actively involved in various community music programs and early childhood education, where he devotes himself to continuing education and ongoing research to yield the most effective, tactful, and effective approaches to private instrument instruction. Having worked in the field as a performer, composer, and educator, William strives to teach to the whole musician - a musician that can fully express himself or herself in their art and practice.