June 22, 2024


Art Is Experience

Composer William Pursell dies from COVID-19

William “Bill” Pursell, a Grammy-nominated composer and studio musician who accompanied this sort of artists as Patsy Cline and Bob Dylan, died Thursday in Nashville at the age of ninety four.

Pursell’s loss of life arrived soon after a “very quick, tricky battle with COVID pneumonia,” his daughter and recording artist, Laura Pursell, stated in a statement.

Pursell’s tune, “Our Winter Appreciate,” grew to become a massive seller in 1963. He was two times nominated for a Grammy, the very first for inspirational effectiveness (non-classical) on the album “Listen” for Ken Medema in 1974. His next Grammy nomination was for his 1978 arrangement of “We Three Kings” for Nationwide Geographic.

Born June 9, 1926 in Oakland, Calif., Pursell was raised in the Central Valley town of Tulare. He researched composition at the Peabody Institute, a audio conservatory in Baltimore and, in the course of armed forces company in Environment War II, he arranged for the U.S. Air Force Band, in accordance to the household. He later researched classical composition at the Eastman University of New music in Rochester, N.Y., earning a master’s diploma in composition. In 1953, his arrangement “Christ Looking Over Jerusalem” for the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra was awarded a prize.

William Pursell in a publicity photo from the 1960s

William Pursell in a publicity photo from the 1960s.

(Pursell Loved ones Archives)

Pursell arrived in Nashville in 1960 at the invitation of famous region artist Eddy Arnold. Two a long time later, Pursell was signed as a solo artist with Columbia Records. His strike, “Our Winter Appreciate,” was launched the pursuing calendar year. A occupation emphasize, in accordance to his household, was actively playing with famous guitarist Chet Atkins at a push corps meal at the White Household for President John F. Kennedy.

By way of the ’60s and ’70s, Pursell labored as a session pianist for field greats, which include Johnny Hard cash, Boots Randolph, Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves, Johnny Paycheck, Joan Baez, Willie Nelson, Dan Fogelberg and Dylan, amongst some others. In 1980, Pursell switched gears, joining the faculty at the Belmont College University of New music in Nashville as a composition professor.

In 1985, he was honored as Composer of the 12 months by the Tennessee New music Academics Affiliation. His symphony, “Heritage,” which was commissioned by the Nashville Symphony and Victor Johnson, debuted in 1989. Two a long time later, he attained his medical doctor of musical arts diploma, with difference, at the Eastman University of New music.

In 2017, Pursell retired from Belmont College soon after 37 a long time. Over the a long time, he taught this sort of region artists as Trisha Yearwood and Brad Paisley.

It was not distinct when he contracted COVID-19, but he entered the medical center approximately a 7 days ago, in accordance to publicist Harlan Boll.

“While in the medical center, my father grew to become a Catholic … He stated his full lifetime now made perception,” his daughter wrote in the statement distributed by Boll. “This offers us some measure of peace. We know how quite a few lives he touched, and he realized how much he was cherished.”

Pursell is survived by his daughter, Laura Pursell, son Monthly bill Pursell and stepdaughters Ellen Spicer and Margaret Pursell. He was preceded in loss of life by daughter Sharon Pursell in 2012 and spouse Julie Pursell in 2018. Donations to the William Whitney Pursell Scholarship in Composition can be made to the Belmont College University of New music.