Bill Pelto joined The College Music Society's national staff as Executive Director in August 2017, after a twenty-six-year career in higher education. A music theorist by specialty, he held a tenured faculty appointment in the Ithaca College School of Music during the 1990s and served as that school’s Associate Dean from 2000 to 2009. While at Ithaca, he collaborated with Richard Hoffman and John W. White to develop the Takadimi system of rhythm solfege.
During the 2004-2005 academic year, he served as an American Council on Education Fellow, including a one-semester residency at Brooklyn College—CUNY and visits to over thirty other colleges and universities throughout the US. In 2009, he moved to Boone, North Carolina, serving as Dean of the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University through June 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Yale University, a Master of Arts in Music Theory from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in Music Theory from The University of Texas at Austin.
Prior to his graduate studies in music theory, Bill served as a research analyst in the State of Alaska Governor’s Office of Budget and Management. An avid hiker, downhill skier, and ukulele player, he is a native of Seattle and grew up in Juneau, Alaska. He is married to soprano and choral conductor Linda Larson.