Having recently completed a Doctor of Arts in clarinet performance at the University of Northern Colorado, Nancy Williams is teaching, performing, and composing in Rapid City, SD. Additional degrees include a Bachelor of Music Education from South Dakota State University as a Briggs Scholar and a Master of Music from the University of Missouri – Columbia. A music educator for over twenty years, Williams has held faculty positions at Northwestern, Dordt, and Sioux Falls Colleges.
Williams is an active solo artist and chamber musician, performing most recently as a guest soloist at Carpe Clarinet Day, Black Hills State University, Dickinson State University, Sheridan College, the Watertown Municipal Band, and the Rapid City Municipal Band. She has played with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Ballet, and Powder River Symphony and is currently the Eb clarinetist for the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra as well as the principal clarinetist in the Black Hills Symphony Wind Quintet. Additionally, Williams is a founding member of the West Wind Quintet, Clarinet Madness Clarinet Choir, Clarinet Quartattitude, and Calumet Clarinet Duo. An advocate of new music, she has a history of commissioning and premiering original works, including William F. Funk’s “Grenadille du Trisque,” Kyle Angley’s “Katabasis,” Kristin Parrish’s “Clarity for Madness,” and Joseph Scardetta’s “Clarinophony.” Chamber music premieres highlighting Williams’s versatile style include Myles Wright’s “Two Folk Songs” and William F. Funk’s “Triangle,” while she has received commissions for her own compositions from the Sioux Falls Municipal Band and Black Hills Balinese Gamelan Raga Garnita. Furthermore, her jazz career includes performing with the Temptations and Four Tops as well as regional big bands.
Chosen to present her research “A Clarinetist’s Guide to Solo Eighteenth-Century Ornamentation” at the International Clarinet Association Conference (2017) and invited to perform her lecture recital “Woodwind Improvisatory Techniques of the Classical Era” at the American Single Reed Summit (2018), she is currently working on a pedagogical method book on Classical improvisation as well as performing British art song with clarinet, the topic of her dissertation History and Development of Secular British Song for Solo Voice and Clarinet.