William Labossiere is an active performer, composer, and educator of percussion and piano. Currently working towards his master’s degree from UNCG, Will has played with such groups as the Cambridge Symphony and the Gettysburg Orchestra, as well as doing freelance work on drum set, percussion, and piano. He is an avid improviser and will join the American Dance Festival at Duke University as a music accompanist apprentice in the summer of 2022. As a composer, Will is published with Kaiser-Southern music, and is living and working in Greensboro, North Carolina.
R!S: How do you find new pieces that you are interested in playing? What factors do you consider when seeking out and/or choosing new solo or chamber repertoire?
William Labossiere: I will try to curate an arc and theme for the recital or performance, then research using those qualifiers. I will also include improvisations, personal compositions, or commissions in order to continue to expand the percussion repertoire and personalize the experience.
R!S: What do you find changes about the way you play a piece as you “live” with it for a while? Do you typically perform a piece once or multiple times?
WL: As I live with a piece, the more I am able to establish an emotional connection to the piece. I begin to craft stories and settings in my head so that when I perform, I try not to simply recite from memory, but depict a story or emotion. I try to perform a piece as many times as I can.
R!S: How involved and in what ways is your instructor involved in your repertoire selection?
WL: My teachers are usually partially involved in my selections, but for the most part, I am given free range over my choices. We will often have discussions about why certain rep would work better than others.
R!S: Do you finish every piece that you start to learn? If not, why not? If a piece seems like a poor fit or you struggle unusually with a piece, how do you proceed? Do you “bail” on the selection, or what changes do you make to allow yourself to complete it?
WL: I try to finish every piece, but sometimes, I find that certain pieces aren’t a good fit for me. If it is a problem with facility, then I know that I have a larger issue, and I will break down sections and create etudes for the parts I struggle with.
R!S: What is one particularly favorite piece of repertoire you’ve performed and why?
WL: My favorite piece to perform was definitely “On the Singular Nature of Sherlock Holmes” by Clarence Barber, written for an actor and percussionist. It was an amazing experience to work with an actor to craft a unique theatrical event. The percussionist was both co-actor and the soundtrack to the act.