w. l. schafer bass. moog. sax wls777. jazzresin. billysunshine

Saturday, July 4, 2015




AUG OCT DEC
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2002 2003 2004
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22 May 01 - 18 Apr 04

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William Schafer's Musical Autobiography


Both my father and mother originate from North Dakota and I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba since my father was working on a degree from the University there. I have two siblings, one older sister and a younger brother.  Raised in Creve Coeur, Missouri, my life has been interwoven with music from a very young age.  My mother was a piano teacher and I was accustomed to the sounds of her music lessons.  At the Mt. Zion church a strong foundation in music formed within me through singing the Methodist hymnbook. I have many fond memories of playing duets with my mother at the piano and I started taking lessons from one of her students by the time I was six years old. 
In fourth grade I participated in the play 'The Music Man' and my mother allowed me to use her clarinet in the play.  Once I learned how to put the instrument together I was naturally curious of how to play which led to enrollment in private lessons.  The instrumental music program in the Parkway school district started in 5th grade and I somehow ended up participating in both clarinet in the band and string bass(humorously due to the fact that I was tall for my age) in the orchestra. I attended many summer workshops through the M.M.A.D.D. program and my musical cognition was off and running.
In seventh grade, I spoke of my interest in playing the bass clarinet and I quickly fell in love with the dark wooden deepness of the timbre and  enjoyed success on the instrument, playing in the all-district band. I had my start in jazz playing the electric bass in the stage band. In high school the bass clarinet did not march in the marching band so they handed me a tenor saxophone and I truly engaged myself upon the instrument, learning all 12 major keys and striving for a warm sound(I guess I have a naturally inquisitive nature and adapt quickly to new challenges).  My sophomore year was a return to the bass viol and I studied from Henry Loew, the principle bassist of the St. Louis Symphony.  Throughout the rest of my high school career I would be Parkway North Senior High's principle bassist. Other accomplishments in this time would be to play Bass for the Casa youth orchestra at Lindinwood College and I performed in the pit of many musicals including Man of LaMancha and Babes at Sea.  My jazz saxophone improved and I won dozens of soloist awards at the jazz competitions.
In 1990, I was accepted to the University of Missouri, Columbia where many of my fellow musicians and friends had also enrolled in and I spent the first few years taking prerequisite courses and playing in extracurricular bands. My junior year I applied myself in the music program and studied saxophone with Barbara Wood and string bass from Sue Stubbs.  I played saxophone in the jazz bands and bass viol in the Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. One of my many highlights at Mizzou was performing a duet with Bobby McFerrin when he visited MU as a guest conductor.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1995 and soon after was traveling the nation and performing with many diverse ensembles .
After returning to Missouri from Brooklyn, I discovered a gift as a music educator and took up employment at Mars the Musician's Planet music shop as a clarinet, saxophone, and bass teacher. I truly embraced the positivity of teaching and I feel confident that I will grow into a worthy teacher.  The year 2000 was pivotal year as I started working for my teacher certification from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. I am preparing to be a K-12 instrumental teacher and I plan on student teaching in the fall of 2002. 



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