Bill was born in Fairview, KS, on 27 November 1915. His father was a county newspaper editor and printer.  He grew up in Delphos and Atchison, KS, 1917-1933. He was first chair trombonist in the Atchison high school orchestra and band in grades 7-12.  Bill was first chair trombonist of both groups during grades 9-12. He graduated from Atchison HS in 1933.

Bill received his B.S. in Education from Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, in 1938.  A professional trombonist from 1933-1938, he was a member of the famous Lawrence Welk Orchestra from 1935-1936 and served as high school band and choir director in Atwood and Lincoln, KS, 1938-1943.  During the same period was first chair trombonist with Miami Symphony.

In 1947, Bill returned to school and received his M.A. in Music Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville on the G.I. Bill. He was a music instructor in brass while at Peabody and a professional trombonist in Nashville on the side.   He then joined the University of Kentucky faculty in Lexington, where from 1950-1960 he taught brass, music education, graduate study courses and directed the summer band, the men’s glee club and the jazz band. 

Bill earned an Ed.D. in music education from University of Illinois in 1957 and was appointed Supervisor of Music at the Board of Education of the Cincinnati Public Schools in 1960 and held that position until he retired in 1978.  Dr. Worrel founded the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra with CSO Maestro Max Rudolf, in 1964.

He helped to start the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts with Bill Dickinson and Robert McSpadden in 1973. Bill directed many all-city music festivals at Cincinnati Gardens and Music Hall.

He also directed summer bands at University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin State University in 1961 and taught a summer class at the University of Boston in 1967. He served as choir director at Ninth Street Baptist Church from 1962-1964. Bill was often an adjunct professor at NKYU and the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music during the 1960s and 70s. A long-time member of MENC, he was chairman of state, bi-state and national regional conventions of the National Association for Music Education in 1970 and 1975.

While in Cincinnati, he continued to be a judge at music contests in the region in KY, IN, TN and AL and conducted the Eastern KY band festival for 7 years. Bill served yet again as a choir director, this time at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Kenwood, OH, from 1970-1971, when he “retired” from decades of singing in and directing church choirs.  In 2002 he received an award from the University of Kentucky for "Teachers who Made a Difference." In 2005 a scholarship fund was set up at University of Kentucky in honor of Dr. Worrel by former students.


Let The Band Play On....

b. 11/27/1915, d. 10/19/2008