Piano, Chamber Music, Composition (by special arrangement)
Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Mannes College of Music, (now The New School)
Master of Music in Piano Performance, Mannes College of Music
Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy; Chamber Music & Accompanying,Temple University
Doctor of Music Arts in Piano Performance, CUNY Graduate Center
The New York Times has called him “a hot item” and “powerful,” the Boston Globe wrote, “sharp soloing,” and the Santa Barbara Independent called him a pianist, “…with great sympathy and insight.” William McNally is a two–time winner of the World Championship Old–Time Piano Playing Contest, and the first three-time winner of their New Rag Contest. A CD with works by Brahms, Reger, and Busoni was lauded by the New York Times as “effortless…fascinating…mercurial… and intelligently curious.” His newest CD—Dream Shadows—features modern and classical Ragtime composers, including Bolcom, Albright, and Stravinsky, as well as his own compositions. He has been featured on Chicago’s Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, on David Dubal’s radio show “The Piano Matters,” and most recently had a two–hour feature on WQED Pittsburgh’s “Performance in Pittsburgh.”
Dr. McNally joined the faculty of Texas State University in 2016, and previously taught at CUNY Queens College and Temple University. He taught at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, and he continued working with young students while working towards his doctorate in New York City. His students have played in major venues in New York and Philadelphia, and won top prizes at local, state, and national levels.
As a piano teacher for young students (ages three through eighteen), I have always focused on the art of listening, and on understanding music as a language. Music explores such a broad variety of emotional terrain, and I help students grow and understand how and why music can convey so many different feelings. Following this understanding, students develop the ability to communicate these musical feelings and ideas to their listeners. My students will not only become better musicians, but ultimately develop into mature young adults better able to communicate effectively in any language, including music.
There is no such thing as a “typical” lesson. Often, lessons begin the same way week–to–week, by exploring the previous week’s progress. From there, lessons can go anywhere: the focus may be on physical development at the instrument, strengthening score reading skills, developing musical interpretive decision–making skills, and even working on good performance and stage presence habits. I endeavor to listen to my students as much as possible, and then guide them to achieve their own loftiest goals. Nothing will carry a student further than their own curiosity, and I enjoy fueling that fire.