BILL ECKFELD, CONDUCTOR
William Eckfeld was the orchestra director at White Plains High School from 1987-2013. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with the renowned bassist
Oscar Zimmerman, he was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra before beginning his career in music education. Eckfeld also studied conducting and composition at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria and earned a Master's Degree in teaching from Lehman College, where he studied composition with John Corigliano.
As a composer, Eckfeld has written numerous works for chamber groups, soloists and orchestras. He served as president of the Greater Westchester Youth Orchestra Association and the Westchester County School Music Association, and is a guest conductor for festival orchestras in Westchester and Rockland counties. He is an organist for the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New Rochelle and is the principal bassist and assistant conductor for the
St. Thomas Orchestra.
“I joined the orchestra after I retired and had not played an instrument since high school. Attending WCO rehearsals has introduced me to an entirely new and interesting group of people of all ages, backgrounds, interests, and talents, all of whom have a common objective: the pleasure of music. Play on ...” -wind player
“I am so thankful to have found WCO. I'm a novice, playing my instrument for only one year and while I may play an off note occasionally (or every few minutes) and struggle to keep pace with this nimble-fingered crew, I only receive support and positive comments. Another player has become something of a mentor to me and our conductor is always happy to answer questions about difficult passages. I also love that I am getting to know a wide range of people I never would have found otherwise. It's hard to explain the magic that happens when we all come together to create music. I really do cherish WCO!”
"I look forward to the peace and quiet every other Monday night." -string player's wife
“I discovered WCO at a time in my life when I needed a distraction. Dusting off my instrument and playing along with other amateur musicians reminded me how much joy music brings to my life.” -wind player
“I joined WCO when I was relatively new to the area. I have played in orchestras and am in several, I have enjoyed playing music on my level in this orchestra and have begun to make friends. I look forward to continuing playing in this orchestra for years to come.” -violin player
"I’m always amazed that people actually come to our concerts, stay till the end and clap! It gives me lots of hope for the world!" -string player
“As a new member of the White Plains community, I was looking for social activities. I had played in musical groups since third grade and missed this and desperately needed the sense of belonging. In WCO, we are our own family with our own quirks and stories. I am a new member and hope to be here for a long time.” -wind player
"It was dark and gloomy out when I joined WCO, but spring came and I made some new friends along with learning some great music." -string player
“I went to my first rehearsal and I was so scared; at first no sound came out because my lip shook from nervousness. I somehow got through that first rehearsal and keep going back. I adore it!” -brass player
"I got the chance I wanted, to switch from the lowly violin to the grand double bass! I am so fortunate that WCO more than allowed me to play a new instrument, but welcomed it!" -string player