Kenyon Williams

Kenyon Williams's Biography

Dr. Kenyon Williams has worked throughout the United States as a professional performer, educator, arranger and clinician. A graduate of Abilene Christian University (BMEd), the Hartt School of Music (MM) and the University of Kentucky (DMA), he has performed as a guest soloist and section member for numerous orchestras, including the Abilene Philharmonic (TX), Louisville Symphony (KY) and the Lexington Philharmonic (KY). He also serves as the Principal Percussionist for the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Williams' notable performances include concerto performances with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony and appearances at the 2017 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the 2017 Society for Electro-Acoustic Music (SEAMUS) International Festival and the 2016 Minnesota Percussion Association Day of Percussion.

As an educator, Dr. Williams has taught at the secondary level as well as at Abilene Christian University (TX), Transylvania University (KY) and Hardin Simmons University (TX). He serves as Professor of Music at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), where he maintains an active teaching and performing schedule. At MSUM, he directs the MSUM Percussion Ensemble and the Fuego Tropical World Music and Percussion Ensemble, which performs music from Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad, Indonesia, West Africa and the Middle East. Dr. Williams' interests have taken him abroad for extended studies in multiple countries, including Ghana, where he studied with Paschal Young and Emmanuel Agbeli, Cuba with Roberto Vizcaino, Brazil with Tisza and Cabello Rolim, Indonesia with Ade Suparman and Agus Efendi and Trinidad with Andy Narell and Ken 'Professor' Philmore. In Trinidad, he performed with the legendary Invaders and Birdsong Steel Orchestras in the world-famous Panorama Steel Band Competition.

In the United States, Dr. Williams has taken his love for the music of the Caribbean to new levels by establishing, arranging and performing for steel bands and Afro-Cuban ensembles in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas. He teaches each summer at the International Music Camp, is a member of the Minnesota-based percussion ensemble The Varying Degrees Trio and directs and performs in the popular Poco Fuego Steel Drum Quintet. His first solo album, Homage, made possible by a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, was released in 2013 and features a wide variety of original commissioned works by composers from across the United States.

Dr. Williams serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), which is the largest body of professional percussionists in the world with over 9,000 members in 75 chapters around the globe. He has also served as the Treasurer and Vice-President of the Minnesota Chapter of PAS and as Chair of the World Percussion Committee for two terms.

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