In Memory

William Emerson (Bill) Wiley

William Emerson "Bill" Wiley, percussionist, arranger, composer, writer, and lover of life, passed away suddenly on June 13, 2020 at his home in Maine. Born in Annapolis in 1948 to Walter Emerson "Pete" and Evelyn Perry Wiley, Bill graduated from Annapolis High School in 1966. In 1970 he graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied timpani and percussion with famed Boston Symphony Orchestra timpanist Vic Firth. After graduation, Bill subbed with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony, later serving as principal timpanist of the Portland, Maine Symphony. In 1976, he went to Hawaii to play in the Honolulu Symphony and later became percussionist, staff arranger, and emcee for the Royal Hawaiian Band, where he played for 35 years. He also played in musicals for many Hawaii theaters, winning an award for excellence in music direction. He taught percussion and was musical director in shows at Punahou School. He played in many smaller groups, including his own Tijuana Brass tribute band, Taco Willie and the Refried Beans. Bill loved concert band and symphonic pops music, and became a proponent of the light-hearted music of Leroy Anderson; his own compositions reflected that spirit. Bill was the funniest person most of us have ever known. Quiet by nature, he found that he could instantly connect with people through his quick wit, warmth, and self-effacing humor. He could mimic just about anyone with pinpoint accuracy, focusing on our foibles and making us laugh both with him and at ourselves. He is survived by his wife, Mary Barbara Clemens, his sister, Lynn Wiley Fleming (Daniel), and his brother Michael Wiley (Helen). He was predeceased by his parents and his oldest brother, Thomas Wiley (Mary). He is lovingly remembered by his nieces Stacey Wiley Wildberger (Dan), Alison Wiley Sayres (Jeff), nephews Benjamin and Andrew Fleming, Steve Wiley (Nancy), Chris Wiley (Kim), and Tim Wiley (Kim), and many grand nieces and nephews. A private scattering of his ashes was held in Maine, and others will be held at later dates in Annapolis and Honolulu. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill's memory to either the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, 1815 Bay RidgeAve., Annapolis, MD 21403,, or the Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band, P.O. Box 1894, Honolulu, HI 96805,