Director of Music, William Picher, DMA, AAGO

Organist, trumpeter, composer and conductor, Dr. Picher was born to a musical family in Portland, Maine and began taking organ lessons at the age of 7 with his father, Frank Picher. At age 13, he began study of trumpet, and has continued playing both instruments throughout his career.

Dr. Picher holds music degrees from the University of Maine, Eastman School of Music and Catholic University of America. He served for eight years as a trumpet instrumentalist with the United States Navy Band in Washington DC, where he performed regularly at the White House, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and in many of the great concert halls throughout the United States. He has played trumpet with the Florida Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic, the Bach Festival Society, the Mt. Vernon Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Symphony Orchestra, as well as at Walt Disney World, where he has also served as conductor, organist, vocal coach and rehearsal pianist.

As an organist and choral director, Dr. Picher has served as director of music ministries at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Portland, Maine) and the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle (St. Petersburg, Florida) before his current position at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe (Orlando, Florida), where he is in his 11th year of service.

In 2000, Dr. Picher was awarded the St. Jude Medal by the Most Rev. Robert N. Lynch, Bishop of St. Petersburg, in recognition for his service to the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle and the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

He has served on the music faculty of the University of Maine, University of Southern Maine, St. Petersburg Junior College, Pinellas County Center for the Arts, Florida Southern College, and he was also the house organist at Portland, Maine's historic State Theatre, where he played the Mighty Wurlitzer for silent movies, and other events. Classical organ recital performances have included Holy Name Cathedral (Chicago), St. Mary's Cathedral (San Francisco), and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington DC), the National Cathedral (Washington DC) and many others.

Dr. Picher is composer member of B.M.I., and an Associate of the American Guild of Organists.  He has produced several published works for brass ensembles.  Several CD recordings of music for both organ and trumpet, as well as directing the Basilica Choir have been released on the Stemik label.  They are available at the Basilica Gift Store.