He was born in 1934 in Goyzha neighborhood of the city of Sulaymaniyah, South Kurdistan.
In 1954, he graduated from the Baghdad Institute of Fine Arts. Since the 1950s, he has been a teacher and a well-known Kurdish artist. Many great Kurdish artists learned music under his supervision.
The most prominent of these artists are Anwar Karadaghi, Khalid Sarkar, Mohammed Amin Hussein, and Francis Daud.
In the 1950s, he founded the Rumi Band with Qadir Dilan, Najaty Abda, Hatem Saeed and many others, which later became the most prominent Kurdish music group at the time.
In 1956, he was one of the founding members of the Kurdish Fine Arts Association in the city of Sulaymaniyah.
In the late 1960s, he was one of the founders of the Sulaymaniyah Music Band and throughout his gifted life he was a teacher and composer of the band. Many of their songs are sung by famous Kurdish singers.
He has been an artistic coach for decades at the Sulaymaniyah city Schools Activities Center and has spent tens of years teaching students. He has also composed music for dozens of theatrical works.
The talented man's hands and fingers had been paralyzed by illness for several years, and he could not compose or play music.
Even his kind eyes were hardly taken to his friends, students and loved ones.
During these two or three years, he was honored with a sculpture by artist Bayan Mani, which decorated the front of the gallery of the Sulaymaniyah Museum.
On the morning of 14-09-2005 in Sulaymaniyah, William Yohanna passed away after a long struggle with illness.