William (Bill) Monaghan was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1970, the first of 4 boys and a girl born to William and Kathleen. At the age of 7, the family moved to Oklahoma, where Billy began to show an interest in the piano and at singing loudly (hoping to win some prize) in his pew at St. Ann's Catholic Church. His days were filled with soccer, baseball, and pretending to be on NFL Sunday out in the fields of Broken Arrow. It was also in Oklahoma that he first heard of Star Wars, a movie and a soundtrack that would change his life. The records of Clancy Brothers music that his father played, as well as Jim Croce, Beatles, and Sha-na-na, would develop roots in young William in appreciation of American and Irish music. The family did not own a piano, so music lessons were once a week on a piano at his teacher's house, where Billy would play from memory and learn a little, return home, and wait until the next week. The Bands. Bill has been performing as a soloist and in bands since high school. His influences range from John Williams (Star Wars) and Billy Joel to Beethoven and Beatles, with a smattering of American musical theater and traditional Irish. He currently performs with Some Assembly Required and Celtic Pride, both of which perform a wide variety of music, including rock and roll, standards, Irish, and the original works that Bill can "force" the bands to perform. His brother Jim still performs with both bands, and has been known to make an appearance as Elvis to rival Bill's Beatlemaniacal presentations. Both bands are known for their high energy performances and their wide variety, and equally for their improvisational theme songs that develop between songs (...gotta move-the blue pickup truck...). The Albums. Bill has dreamed since sophomore year of high school of being a writer of song, lyric, and story. "People are going to write songs, shows, stories," he says, "and I want to be one of those people." To date, he has completed several albums, including The Word, A Gospel Opera (CD); Celtic Pride (CD); All That Your Heart May Desire (CD single); The Word DVD special presentation; Monaghan Concert 2004 (DVD; Lusting for Dust Words (Film Score on CD). Pending release is Some Assembly Required, which will be release finally in 2005 after 8 years of recording, editing, and design (whew!). Currently in production are several works, including: The Psalms, 9/11/In Memoriam; The Word (full length feature film of the musical); Celtic Pride Christmas Album; The Ridiculous Songs: No Picks, No Sticks, No Service; Modern Rock Mass; and Brunswick 2057 (cast recording). Bill still works on his Patriot's Symphony for Philadelphia, and dreams of one day performing it on the steps of the Art Museum as a gift to Philadelphia.
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