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Will Peebles

School of Music

Will Peebles


Phone: 828-227-3258
Office Address: Coulter 466


D. M. A. in Bassoon Performance, Theory, and Literature, Michigan State University, 1994

M. M. in Bassoon Performance, Michigan State University, 1982

M. S. W. in Social Work, Michigan State University 1980

B. A. in Social Work, Michigan State University, 1979

Selected Lectures and Workshops:

Invited Presentation: "An Unstamped Boehm-Inspired Bassoon," American Musical Instrument Society, May 2018.

Invited Presentation:  "A Trio of French Bassoons," Annual Meeting of the American Musical Instrument Society, Vermillion, SD, May 2016

Guest Lecture/Gamelan degung concert & workshop, National Music Museum, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD, April 2015.

Invited Presenter, Balinese Gamelan Workshop, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, October 2015

Invited Presenter (with Ian Jeffress, Eldred Spell, and Shannon Thompson), “Sound Advice for Woodwinds,” North Carolina Music Educators In-Service Conference, Winston-Salem, NC, November 2014

Lecture: “The Shape-Note Singing Tradition,” North Carolina Religious Studies Association, Western Carolina University, October 1997.


Will Peebles has taught courses in bassoon, music theory, music history, and world music at Western since 1992, and served as Director of the School of Music from 2005-2014. In 1999, he established Western’s Low Tech Ensemble, which now performs on Balinese, Javanese, and Sundanese gamelan.

Will's doctoral work focused on the historical development of bassoon fingering systems. His interest in this area has led him to develop a small collection of historical double reed instruments, ranging from reproductions of Renaissance instruments such as the krummhorn and rackett to antique bassoons from the nineteenth century. Ultimately, he hopes to restore and maintain all of these instruments for performance.

Will maintains an active performing career with appearances in faculty recitals on campus and in the area. He plays regularly with the Asheville (NC) Symphony and has performed occasionally with symphonies in Charleston and Greenville (SC), Jacksonville (FL), Grand Rapids (MI), Augusta (GA), and the Charlotte, Western Piedmont (Hickory, NC), Hendersonville, Brevard, and North Carolina Symphonies. He was a member of the Savannah (GA) Symphony from 1991 until its untimely demise in the spring of 2003.

Before coming to Western Carolina, Will taught music history at Michigan State University, bassoon at Albion College, and played for nine years in the Grand Rapids Symphony. He also performed occasionally with orchestras all around Michigan, including the Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Detroit, Jackson, and West Shore Symphony Orchestras.

In his spare time, Will enjoys hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and photography. Weekends often find him out on the trail in the Smoky Mountain National Park or the Nantahala National Forest, hiking with students and colleagues.

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