Professor Emeritus

BMus (Illinois), MM (Southern Illinois)

Professor Westcott is a pianist, composer, arranger, musicologist and music theorist specializing in African-American and classical music of the 20th century.

A piano player from the age of eight, William “Bill” Westcott studied blues piano with “Little Brother” Montgomery, a major blues-recording artist of the 1930s and of the later blues revival, alongside his formal university training in music. This experience confirmed him in his life-long interest in early blues and jazz piano styles.

While working occasionally as a soloist and accompanist in classical performance, Professor Westcott has performed as a band member in various rock, Dixieland, country and western, ragtime, jazz and blues ensembles for more than 40 years. He has appeared as pianist and singer in Canadian and American music festivals as well as Canadian radio and television broadcasts. Orchestras in Canada, the United States and Eastern Europe have performed his original compositions and arrangements.