William Holmes, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and a fifth generation Californian, has been a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1988. Mr. Holmes began playing trumpet at the age of 12. His first teacher was Victor Kress, then second trumpet in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Mr. Holmes first performed with the San Francisco Opera in 1969 as an extra in Aïda.
Bill graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in psychology. While in school, he continued his trumpet studies with Joe Alessi and Phil Shoptaugh. During this period, Mr. Holmes began freelancing with various groups in the Bay Area. After graduating from college, he became a student of Eddie Haug, then second trumpet in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. He also studied with Laurie McGaw, Assistant Principal with the San Francisco Symphony.
In 1985, Mr. Holmes played a season with the San Diego Symphony. He has played with the Carmel Bach Festival and as Principal Trumpet with the Tahoe Summer Music Festival, where he performed the Haydn Trumpet Concerto. He has performed with a wide range of professional ensembles, including the San Francisco Symphony, the Marin Symphony, the Beach Boys and the San Francisco 49ers Band. He is a founding member of the Golden Gate Brass Quintet, currently in its 20th year, which performs educational programs in schools throughout the Bay Area. Mr. Holmes has been a regular soloist at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ross since 1991. In 1997 he and St. John’s organist, the late Philip Hahn, released the CD The Trumpet Sings Thanksgiving. Mr. Holmes lives in Marin County. He has a son, Jason and three granddaughters, Isabella, Ava, and Jade.