Bill Ash

Director of design and production

Running a small publishing company requires wearing many hats. Fortunately, Bill already has accumulated quite a few in his varied career, which spans architecture, computer support, web design, and music.

Bill Ash wearing one of his many hats while climbing in Maine.

Bill studied Architecture at Princeton University and spent several years working in northern New Jersey architectural firms. Most notable was that of Eleanore Pettersen, AIA, who had apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright and was one of New Jersey’s first female architects.

As the personal computer revolution heated up in the mid-’80s, Bill moved to computer support. Starting as a word processing teacher and troubleshooter at the Wall Street office of Jones Lang Wootton, a commercial real estate firm, he worked his way up the corporate ladder, eventually becoming head of technical support, training, and documentation at WexTech Systems, a New York-based software publisher. Along the way he performed front-line and advanced tech support, developed and taught classes, built knowledge bases, wrote and designed computer manuals, and trained and managed other support techs. He also programmed databases and built websites.

While working in New York City, Bill studied life drawing at the renowned Art Students League. Sketching live models neatly complemented his architectural drafting skills and provided a welcome counterpoint to his computer work.

When WexTech faltered in the dot-com bust of the early 2000s, Bill took advantage of the opportunity to became a freelance musician. He began playing trumpet in fourth grade; in high school he started performing professionally, and at 16 was leading his own 15-piece big band. At Princeton, he continued freelancing, again led his own big band, and began composing, arranging, and doubling on trombone and French horn.

Since his school days Bill has performed in groups ranging from full orchestra to solo trumpet, in a variety of styles. His performance credits include the Temptations, the Happenings, Marlene VerPlanck, and Bobby Rydell. Bill has performed at numerous New York area venues, including Lincoln Center, NJPAC, Giants Stadium, Izod Arena, and area jazz clubs. He has also performed in Las Vegas and up and down the East Coast.

In 2003 Bill was selected as one of New Jersey’s top jazz musicians by the Newark Star Ledger for its “Great Day in Jersey” feature.

Bill has recorded with numerous groups, including the Jazz Composer’s Workshop Orchestra, which recorded his composition Stealing Fire, and Kennsington Brass, which recorded several of his arrangements. His works also are regularly performed live by a number of bands — including his own, the 7-piece brass-plus-rhythm Brass Pack.

He teaches music privately and has written about music for Gannett Newspapers.

For several years, in addition to his work in music, Bill has been working in graphic design and building websites for businesses and individuals in a wide range of fields. His clients include authors for whom he has formatted and proofread manuscripts and designed websites.