Will Whitten was born in Oceanside, California, and grew up in Kingman, Arizona. He is currently pursuing two bachelor’s degrees with honors in Music Education and Music Performance at Northern Arizona University (NAU), where he studies under the esteemed trombonist David Allen Vining.
As principal bass trombonist in the NAU Wind Symphony and NAU Symphony Orchestra, Whitten has further enriched his musical journey by performing with diverse ensembles, including The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, Santa Clara Vanguard, Salt River Brass, Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, and Flagstaff Master Chorale.
A pivotal moment in Whitten’s career came when he was introduced to klezmer, the rich musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe, thanks to the guidance of music educator and clarinetist Kaia Guscott. This ignited a passion for composition and led to the formation of the Flagstaff Klezmer Orkestra (FKO) following Guscott. Whitten sees there should be no barriers between formal concert music and "popular" music. So, when venturing into composing for chamber groups and concert bands, he draws inspiration from various musical cultures, such as truba and klezmer as well as skillfully fuses elements from admired artists like Björk, Louis Cole, Tyler, the Creator, Masayoshi Takanaka, Little Simz, and Vulfpeck, adding a contemporary dimension to his compositions.