Music has been a significant part of Bill’s life for as long as he can remember, singing tunes and picking out melodies even before he began formal study of piano at age four. In high school and college Bill led and managed a 13-piece dance orchestra and also sang professionally in a vocal trio. He began composing music for piano, voice, and chorus in the 1950s. He writes both music and lyrics, and often does the arranging as well. More recently he has begun writing for orchestral ensembles as well.
In the early 1980s he began to write seriously for congregation and chorus, inspired by a series of study themes he had developed on the subject of discipleship. These songs, published initially as a collection entitled Ev’rything!, also appear in hymnals (both in the United States and in Germany, with lyrics translated by Barbara Werner) and as choral octavos, arranged by Fred Bock and Douglas Mears. Bill has also composed two patriotic works arranged and performed by the United States Army Chorus, and by the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus. His choral works have been performed on national television by the Cathedral Choir of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, directed by Fred Bock. Bill was informally commissioned to compose a classical piano work for the 1993 inauguration ceremony of Dr. Richard Mouw as President of Fuller Theological Seminary; his Inaugural Suite was performed by Janet Sanborn. More recently he has been commissioned to compose and arrange music for the 21st Century Consort concerts presented at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.
Bill began his professional career in aerospace advanced systems engineering in San Diego in 1952. In 1964 he left the industry to join the personal staff of the Secretary of Defense; he later was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Army and served in the Johnson and Nixon administrations until December 1970. He then returned to private industry; however he was called back to government service in 1973 as an Assistant Secretary of defense, and served through the Ford Administration. Altogether, in his government career, he served three presidents and five secretaries of Defense.
Bill is Chairman Emeritus of SRA International, Fairfax, Virginia, a company that he helped found in 1978. He is also a retired director of Herman Miller, Inc. where he served on the Executive Committee. Bill is past board chair of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, and continues as trustee. At Fuller, Bill and his wife Dee founded the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts,
Today Bill is also energetically pursuing an interest in Type 1 diabetes research, working with the University of Michigan Medical School and a group of colleagues from seven other major universities. At Michigan, Bill and Dee have established the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research.
A native of Dearborn, Michigan, Bill holds bachelors and masters degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Michigan. He and Dee reside in McLean, Virginia, and are proud of their son and daughter, their spouses, and six grandchildren.
Arranged by: Edwin M. Willmington
Written and arranged to honor the retirement of University of Michigan choral director Dr. Jerry Blackstone, Jubilee! will delight both...
Alongside masterful recordings produced by Loretta Giles, these ten pieces are at once joyous and contemplative, haunting and beautiful....
From the pen of William K. Brehm, these classic arias have been treated with sacred lyrics, perfect for any concert hall or church setting....
Arranged by: Edwin M. Willmington
A Stunning Setting of “Alleluia,” this piece demands much musicality from singers.
Building from a quiet reflection to a joyous song of...