William Payn has achieved prominence as a conductor and composer. As Director of Choral Studies at Bucknell, he has led his choirs to international recognition for their creative interpretation of significant choral literature of the past five centuries.

Educational Background 

  • D.M.A., West Virginia University
  • M.M., West Virginia University
  • B.M., Westminster Choir College

Teaching Interests

  • advanced conducting
  • choral studies

Activities and Other Interests

Professor Payn's choirs have performed all over the world, including concert tours in England, Wales, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, West Germany, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Italy, Croatia, Argentina, and Uruguay. Closer to home, they have sung in Florida, California, and Arizona. Both his Rooke Chapel Choir and University Concert Chorale have sung at conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Bucknell’s popular annual Candlelight Service of Carols, featuring the Rooke Chapel Choir and Rooke Chapel Ringers, has been nationally televised by PBS each year since 1988 and was nominated for Emmy awards in 1996, 2004, and 2011.

Dr. Payn has more than 40 published compositions, including “This Day,” which was written for the Rooke Chapel Choir and “Heart Melodies” for handbells and chamber orchestra. Several performances of “Heart Melodies” have recently taken place around the world. “On This Day Earth Shall Ring” for choir, hanbells and organ was recently premiered at the Bucknell Candlelight Services.

As a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Payn has served as Pennsylvania state president. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Westminster Choir College Distinguished Alumni Merit Award; Bucknell's Class of ’56 Lectureship for inspirational teaching; and the Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence, presented by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association for outstanding lifelong work in the choral art. He is also Music Director and Conductor of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale and Orchestra.


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