Bill St. Pierre
clarinet, flute, saxophone
Photo by Jane Hancock
Bill St. Pierre, 1999
Bill St. Pierre
Band Musician, Composer and Arranger
Born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Bill St. Pierre started playing clarinet in school
at the age of 13. Bill took private lessons for several years and played in the New England youth orchestra
in Connecticut as well as a Polish polka band. After high school, Bill joined the air force. He
learned how to arrange music at the Berklee School of Music in Boston near his base and was soon arranging pieces for the
air force jazz and concert bands.
Bill moved to Santa Cruz in 1970, and has lived in Rio Del Mar, Felton and Ben Lomond. He has played
regularly at several venues in the area, including the Dream Inn and Seascape, and with such bands as the
Robin Anderson Big Band and the Monterey Peninsula Jazz orchestra. He now plays with Adrian Davis Presents,
based in San Jose, and the Esquire Big Band at the Mt. Madonna restaurant. Every October Bill serves as
music director for Hidden Valley Music Seminars' senior band week in Carmel Valley.
After getting out of the service in 1952, Bill moved to California and attended UCLA, getting a BA in music
and a teaching credential. After graduating Bill taught high school for a while but soon became extremely
active as a band musician. Groups he performed with include Matty Melneck's band (backing up Frank Sinatra,
Sammy Davis Jr., Lena Horne, Michey Rooney, Ray Bolger and Dean Martin at Cal-Neva in Lake Tahoe); the
Leighton Noble band (backing up Andy Willimas, Jack Benny, Wane Newton, Liberace and Benny Goodman at
Harrah's Club, Lake Tahoe); the Dick Stabile Band (backing up Tony Bennett, Sergio Franchi, Helen Morgan,
and Tommy Sands at the Coconut Grove and Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles), and the Gerry Gray Band. He also
worked as composer, arranger and conductor for the American Folk Ballet, which toured extensively (and
even appeared with Diana Ross and the Supremes).
Bill at UCLA
The Endless Summer, a surf movie classic, was one of many productions
that Bill composed music for in the world of theater, television and film.
He also arranged three songs and dance numbers on the original Charlie's Angels
television show for Aaron Spelling Productions.
Though busy, Bill still makes time to compose and arrange music on his Macintosh computer. He
says music is especially fun at this point because "for me now, it's not so much that I have to have
it for a career. I just enjoy doing it when I feel like I want to do it."
While music is rewarding, making a living at it--even for the best of musicians--can be challenging.
Bill's advice? "Don't give up your day gig!"
Bill at home. Photo by Jane Hancock