Welcome New Faculty
UVMC welcomes two new faculty members this fall.
William Ögmundson is an award-winning composer and lyricist, and a classically-trained solo pianist. He has 12 albums to his credit and his recordings have over 20 million streams worldwide.
William began performing at the age of 5, and went on to win numerous piano competitions. He was selected to be the featured pianist for the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra on four separate occasions. William has performed at venues throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East including the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, where he was honored to have been the organist for a Sunday morning mass.
As an award-winning composer and lyricist, William has written numerous musical scores for the stage as well as for television. William co-wrote a lullaby with Tomie dePaola for his beloved children’s story character, Strega Nona, which appears in the book The Magic of Strega Nona. “Pollyanna”, a musical that he wrote with Trish Lindberg, was published in 2011 by Dramatic Publishing. He co-wrote (with Tom Dunn of), “Georgia O’Keeffe Paints Paradise”, for which he won Best Musical Score in the New York Theater Festival, was performed at the Hudson Guild Theater in 2019 in NYC.
His solo piano album “Simple Gifts” garnered many positive reviews, was nominated by Piano Whisperings Solo Piano Radio for Album of the Year, and was #2 in the November 2018 chart for Enlightened Piano Radio. In the words of Steve Sheppard of One World Music “…his style, and it has to be said, is utter genius here, was beyond anything I had heard for quite some time…masterfully performed and produced, a real winner of an album.”In her review for mainlypiano.com, Kathy Parsons said “The music is melodic, very expressive and beautifully played.”
He has recently created (with Swedish composer and producer Rikard Mathisson) a moniker called “In Void” where the two of them collaborate on music about art, under the pseudonyms “Renault and Peugeot”. Those enigmatic releases can be found on all streaming platforms.
William resides in New Hampshire with his wife, Heather, and three children, where he is music director of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, and the collaborative piano at the Upper Valley Music Center.
Guitarist Draa Hobbs has been a professional musician and educator for close to four decades. He has performed in music venues throughout the Northeast and in Europe. He has performed in concerts with Don Friedman, Ron McClure, Eliot Zigmund, John Stowell, Peter Bernstein, Steve Cardenas, and vocalist Kendra Shank. As an educator guitarist Hobbs teaches guitar and ensemble classes at the Vermont Jazz Center and Upper Valley Music Center, and has led a series of masterclasses at the Grafton Inn playing host to world class guitarists who travel to Vermont to share their knowledge with professional and semi professional musicians twice a year.