“Thank you so much for your wonderful presentation! I found it very informative and my flute and bassoon colleagues spoke positively about it as well.” - David Cook, Assistant Professor of Clarinet | Principal Clarinet, Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra | Buffet Crampon USA Performing Artist |Silverstein PRO Team Artist
Cadenzas, Eingänge, and More: Improvisation in the Classical Era
Lecture and/or Masterclass
This lecture presents the what, why, when, and how of improvisatory techniques used by woodwind performers during the Classical period. While modern performers may be aware of the improvisatory nature of cadenzas, the culture of the time included a much broader practice of improvisation, particularly in solo literature. The amount of information can be overwhelming, however, since much of it is contradictory and traditions varied among countries, schools, and instructors. Williams created Woodwind Improvisatory Techniques of the Classical Era: A Pedagogy Method, published in 2021, to condense and streamline the learning process and inspire performers and educators to include improvisation in their performances and studios. For an extended masterclass version of this lecture, Dr. Williams will work with woodwind students on their cadenzas as well as discuss the ways to include improvisation in their current performance repertoire.
"We enjoyed so much your presentation! Thank you for such a concise and informative session with my students today. I just got myself a copy of your book and will ask for our library to purchase it as well." - Dr. Luis A. Víquez, Director of Orchestral Activities | Associate Professor of Clarinet
The Portfolio Musician Career
Dr. Williams discusses her innovative and dynamic freelance career as performer, educator, composer/arranger, and leadership coach. The portfolio career is gaining momentum worldwide as traditional roles in the music industry and higher education have changed in recent times. Additionally, social media and easier international connections are creating continually evolving opportunities and possibilities for music entrepreneurship. This lecture also addresses business concerns such as visibility & marketing, setting rates, self-promotion, and networking.
Advancing Your Performance Career through Musicology:
from Curiosity to Connection
Graduate students in music performance may discount the real world importance of classroom learning in lieu of more time in the practice room or on stage. Instead of wasted time, these classes can create opportunities for performance careers to grow in unexpected ways. Dr. Williams leads you through the steps of how a musicology class project advanced her performance skills and career and how you can do the same. While the intended audience is graduate seminar students, this lecture can also apply to performance majors curious about the business aspect of music.
“I got plenty of smiles from my class as they left your terrific presentation. Win!” - Dr. Jonathan Bellman, Professor of Music History and Literature | Head of Academic Studies in Music
Imposter Syndrome and Musician Wellness
Confidence in our ability to perform affects every aspect of our playing, practicing, and ultimately success. In this digital age, comparison permeates society. How do you shut out the noise and value your own journey? Dr. Williams discusses the differences among confidence, self-esteem, and imposter syndrome while focusing on the importance of the individual voice and contribution. The Classical music industry can be harrowing to navigate, with gaslighting, clique culture, and gatekeepers at every corner. Learn how to walk with fear and not only build confidence, but also bulletproof yourself against haters.
Building a Better Clarinet Section
Lecture or Workshop
Clarinet sections are the soul of school band programs, originally representing the violin section of the orchestra; yet many teachers don’t know how to proactively build a clarinet section with depth. This presentation will take educators through the process of encouraging quality and leadership in even the youngest clarinetists so that the section can produce a balanced and in-tune sound with a tone in which you can take pride. They will learn important concepts and how to implement them successfully, in addition to quick hacks that will make students instantly sound better. Topics covered include creating a compassionate competitive culture, fostering student leadership, building esteem through clarinet choir, deciding strategic auxiliary clarinet placement, thinking outside the box, and outsourcing for excellence. Evidence is cited from professional experience as a band director and private instructor in addition to information acquired through higher education and leadership continuing education.
Overwhelmed to Overjoyed
Dr. Williams’s holistic approach to music is cutting edge and her eclectic skill set applies to a wide range of interests. Her focus on mental health (balancing the demands of the profession and personal life), the purpose-filled career, and joyful productivity within a culture of empowerment promises to reach beyond the clarinet studio and enrich the lives of our all your students and faculty. For creative artists struggling with burnout and overwhelm, Dr. Williams has built a workshop to immediately lower stress, increase peace, and foster big-picture thinking and living instead of day-to-day panic and anxiety.
Beginning Jazz Improv for Classical Musicians
No longer fear those pages with chord changes instead of notes in musicals, the style of jazz orchestral arrangements, or even playing in a jazz combo or jazz band! Don't lose out on jobs to someone who's more versatile. Dr. Williams walks classical performers through the building blocks of improvisation in jazz and popular music. Students will be able to improvise solos on their own by the end with greater stylistic sensitivity. Piano required.
South Dakota High School All-State Band or All-State Orchestra Audition Prep
High school students auditioning for All-State ensembles are walked through the preparation process. Pro tips on sight reading, anxiety, repertoire preparation, and pedagogical pillars are discussed as students perform mock auditions or sections of their solo, etude, scales, and/or sight reading.
Clarinet 101 (or Clarinet and Saxophone 101)
Topics covered include encouraging appropriate (and cost effective) gear and product use, teaching essential warmups, demystifying technique and embouchure, and accurate tonguing and voicing placement. Band directors and beginning-intermediate clarinetists will benefit from this information.
Rehearsing and Conducting
Studio, Festival, or Community
Dr. Williams managed an internationally-recognized community clarinet choir for ten years, knows the best repertoire, and owns an extensive library with varied instrumentation and abilities in addition to her own arrangements.
Band or Wind Ensemble
Elementary, Middle and High School, Collegiate, Festival, New Horizons or Municipal
With over six years of experience as a band director and teaching assistant, Dr. Williams still loves rehearsing and conducting bands! Check out the guest conducting rehearsal of the New Horizons Band in Rapid City, SD, mainly comprised of retired band directors. Of course rehearsal demeanor will change dependent on the professional situation. Perhaps one of her band compositions will also meet your needs.
Recitals and Lecture Recitals
“I thought the recital program was very engaging and meaningful. I especially enjoyed your beautiful resonant tone, which combined with your polished technique and expert musicianship, really brought life to these wonderful works. In the days following the event, many students have expressed how much they enjoyed the program and especially your own composition. One of my flute students stated in a lesson yesterday, '…I’m not even a clarinet player and I was totally blown away by that performance! It was absolutely amazing!.” I also heard a lot of positive feedback from folks who watched via the livestream, many saying “…Wow, I wish I could have been there to experience that in-person. She was terrific!.'” - Karl Kolbeck, Professor of Woodwinds, Wayne State College
British Art Song for Clarinet and Voice
Recital(s) or Lecture Recital(s)
Based on the research from her dissertation on the topic, Dr. Williams can collaborate on a variety of recitals in this medium, including the history and development of British art song with clarinet, the clarinet as pastoral signifier, and twentieth-century British art song with clarinet. Collaborators may include soprano, mezzo soprano, and baritone, with and/or without piano. Williams focuses on the historical and cultural context of British song and its influence on instrumental music while connecting the audience to the personal significance of the pastoral theme in times of healing.
Music for Clarinet and Piano by Women Composers
Before 2020, finding scores for past compositions by women for clarinet proved challenging. Research during the pandemic resulted in the collecting and marketing of women’s music for a variety of medium, including clarinet and piano. Dr. Williams enjoys celebrating this music and exposing audiences to the extraordinary women who wrote these well-crafted pieces. Selections include compositions by the first-known professional woman clarinetist and the first composition by a woman to be selected for the Paris Conservatory competition, as well as Williams’s original composition “Unequivocal.” Several selections of this recital repertoire were selected to be performed by Dr. Williams at the 2023 International Music by Women Festival. “Unequivocal” had its international premiere there, performed by festival musicians.
Dr. Williams draws inspiration from the above recital options as well as world music and the canon of traditional literature (Debussy, Brahms, Copland, Poulenc, etc.) to create a unique, tailored experience for your specific audience.
Improvisational Techniques in C. Stamitz’s Clarinet Concerto in Bb
Dr. Williams discusses the four categories of improvisational techniques practiced by woodwind performers during the Classical era and demonstrates them on the Stamitz concerto. This could be combined with a masterclass on the topic.
NEW! Django Clarinet Combo
Recital or Gig
Experience the joy of Hot Jazz inspired by the style of Django Reinhardt. No need for drums, guitar provides the driving rhythm for this type of jazz from 1930's France. Put on your beret, pour a glass of red wine, and let us make your day.