Will Rapp holds the Bachelor of Science and Master of Music Degrees in Music Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and the Diploma of Fine Arts in Conducting from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. He has done additional study at the Eastman School of Music, the University of North Texas, Westminster Choir College, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Instrumental Conducting from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 1999. He has served on the faculty of Millersville University of PA, Southeastern Louisiana University, Iowa State University, and is currently Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at Kutztown University of PA, where he conducts the university orchestra.
Will Rapp has a thirty-seven year career as a published author with over 450 publications to his credit through Charter Publications, Jenson Publications, Educational Programs Publications, Meredith Music Publications, and the Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. Additionally, his articles and reviews have appeared in some of the leading music journals. With one exception, he was the youngest student to have studied timpani and orchestral repertoire with Fred D. Hinger, legendary timpanist for the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He also performed as Principal Timpanist of the Allentown, PA Symphony Orchestra for fifteen years, when William Smith, former Associate Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, served as Music Director and Conductor of the ASO.
He has taught conducting at the Catholic University of America (during his doctoral residency) as well as at Kutztown University. He also worked under Maestro Pitor Gajewski, Conductor of the National Chamber Orchestra in Washington, DC. Currently serving as conductor of the Reading Pennsylvania Pops Orchestra, Will Rapp continues to be in demand as a guest conductor of honor bands and orchestras. His scholarly text, The Wind Band Masterwords of Holst, Vaughan Williams and Grainger, was released in March 2005. In 2007, he was selected as a recipient of a Kutztown University Faculty Research Award in recognition of his leadership in the field of percussion teaching, publications, and continued activity in the field. In Fall 2009, he was honored with the Arthur and Isabel Wiesenberger Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, making him the first faculty member in the history of the university to be honored with both awards.
Will Rapp – Publications
Over the years, there has been on ongoing interest among music educators to obtain many of the marching percussion cadences, features, warm-ups, and teaching materials composed and arranged by Will, especially during the years when he was the exclusive marching percussion composer / arranger for Jenson Publications. Many of these out-of-print materials are once again available for use by educational programs to provide performance as well as teaching material for the marching percussion ensemble.