William Hohn, composer

William (Bill) Hohn grew-up in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He attended Blessed Sacrament Grade School. Bill took accordion lessons in the second grade. Unfortunately, the accordion was defective, and every time he pushed the air hole button to close the accordion it played a high “C”. While this situation made for some very unusual concerts it did not deter him from continuing with music. He quickly picked up the guitar and studied for four years under five different teachers. Most notably, was Doug Atkinson. This is where Bill learned many classical compositions from transcriptions of the masters i.e. Bach, Corelli, Vivaldi, Telemann, Handel, Beethoven, Mozart etc…

Bill had two sisters who started to take piano lessons under Sister Collette, SJC (Sisters of Joseph Carondelet) at Blessed Sacrament Grade School, and even though Bill was very proficient in playing guitar, his mother only wanted his two sisters to learn piano. Bill asked Sister Collette if he could sit in one of the lessons and observe for fifty cents an hour. He told her that he would pay promptly, and she laughed and let him take the lessons. One of Bill’s sisters quit and he was allowed to take her place. This was when Bill started writing music seriously. He started to study piano under Sister Ellen Marie, SJC.

Bill attended Hill High School in Maplewood, Minnesota. He auditioned for the school band and picked trumpet as his band instrument. In his freshman year, he played third chair at Hill High School, but when Hill High School merged with Arch-Bishop Murray he re-auditioned and play first chair in his sophomore year. Bill was involved in band administration, and rose to the level of President his senior year. He was the first Hill-Murray Pioneer to win the John Philip Sousa Award two years consecutively.

During this period, Bill also played with the Twin Cities Talented Youth Symphonies and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestras.

Bill went to the University of Minnesota and became a music major, but decided to switch his major to English with the intensions of returning to get his music degree. He studied piano for two years under Milos Ferlik. He took lessons at the University of Minnesota with a number of different teachers in piano, finally he had to give it up due to his mother’s death, and subsequently his father’s death. Bill has worked professionally in many bands, playing guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, bagpipes, banjo or whatever is needed. Due to many hand operations and stress on the ligaments, Bill’s performance career ended about seven years ago, and now he is concentrating on writing music.