William (Billy) Stewart was born in Sanford, North Carolina and has been playing guitar since he was eight years old. He was self-taught until be entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a freshman music major. There he commenced studies in guitar and composition (with Dr. Roger Hannay). Upon receiving his degree in music (Bachelor of Music in Education), he extended his studies of the guitar by attending Master Classes with classical guitarist Jésus Silva and Pepe Romero and with jazz artists Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie. He has also performed in Master Classes with Manuel Barrueco, Elliot Fisk, William Kanengeiser and Ricardo Cobo and taken composition Master Classes with John Duarte and Leo Brouwer.
Billy has been an Associate Performing Faculty of the Music Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since his graduation in 1975. He has given professional concerts and performances thoughout the southeastern US in such various settings as the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Dale Mabry Campus of the Hillborough Community College in Tampa The Biltmore House and the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh. In 1992, through a grant from the Greater Durham United Arts Fund and Durham Arts Council, Inc, he presented a concert of his own music in collaboration with some of the area's finest musicians. In 1995, Columbia Music Company and Mel Bay Publications selected two of his compositions for publication. In 1988 he jointly founded and was the first President of the Triangle Guitar Society.