When Orange Coast College elementary student and teacher William Renner enrolled in the OCC Classical Guitar Course in Spring 2020, he wanted to enrich his life by honing his guitar skills and getting back to performing. in person. This vision of playing in an ensemble is expected to be postponed for approximately two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has halted all in-person events.
He continued to improve his guitar skills while taking online lessons during the pandemic. With the return to in-person classes this semester, Renner will perform in the guitar ensemble, as well as a solo performance on May 22 at 3 p.m. Robert B. Moore Theater on the campus. Tickets are available for purchase in line.
Born in La Palma, Renner grew up in a family of musicians. His mother sings and plays the piano and his father plays the guitar. “My dad always tried to teach me how to play guitar, but I never really wanted to learn,” Renner said.
His musical journey began at Walker Junior High School, where he started in the band program and learned to play the saxophone. As his love for music and performing grew, he pursued this passion when he transferred to John F. Kennedy High School.
At JFK High, Renner joined the marching band, jazz band, and wind ensemble. He also acquired the first chair in his junior and senior years, where he helped the conductor tune the orchestra.
After high school, Renner quit performing live music to pursue higher education. He attended State of California Fullerton where he earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and his elementary school teaching diploma. He will receive his Master of Science in Educational Leadership this spring.
Renner would play saxophone over the years, but his love of playing live in a band still lingered, and in the spring of 2020 he signed up for classical guitar lessons at the OCC. Little did he know the COVID-19 pandemic would force online classes and put a pause on live performances.
“I had taken quite a long break and hadn’t really played with anyone for a while,” Renner said. “I really missed playing in a group. There’s just something really special about playing a piece of music with other people. There’s just something almost magical about it.