Blair Williams Founding Artist
In his own words...
The first drum I ever touched was a 15" Ludwig mylar snare. That mid-September afternoon of my 7th grade year was the first step of a long percussive journey for me. I have been involved with percussion for over 17 years now, and I don't think I could live without it. Slowly expanding my instrumentation and developing my skill was just a small step up the ladder of percussion as I traversed through junior high and high school.
Ever since I saw my first drum corps show in 1995 and seeing groups such as the Blue Devils, the Velvet Knights, Santa Clara Vanguard, and the Sacramento Mandarins, I knew that being involved in drum corps was definitely something I wanted to do. Going through high school and college I had many great experiences. From marching band to drumline to indoor percussion and then on to teaching, all these experiences have come together to form my personality and who I am today. All these life experiences I've had, the people I've marched or worked with, the friends I've made, and the students I've had, all have a huge impact on how I teach and how I write. This is what motivated me to go to school and complete my music education degree at CSU Stanislaus in 2007 as well as become a member of the Vic Firth education team and acquire an endorsement by Remo drumheads.
Through my professional experiences with the Freelancers, Mandarins, Blue Devils, I've learned so much about myself and what I like to hear, and what motivates me to do what I love every day. I love to teach. I love watching students develop and grow, and the confidence they gain as they become stronger musicians as well as a better people. The best part of teaching is knowing that within our activity, people learn so much more than just percussion skills: they learn life lessons that they will carry with them for the remainder of their time here on earth. I've been teaching and writing since I was in high school and hope that I can continue to do the things I love for as long as I can.
Comments from D'Rumpus
As you can tell from his bio, Blair genuinely cares not only about his family, friends, colleagues, and students, but also about the music he writes. He puts a lot of heart and thought into what he creates and you can hear that when you listen to his music. As if he hasn’t been giving back enough, Blair has also been judging for a few years; he has touched hundreds of groups by providing meaningful feedback from a set of trained eyes and ears. Nice work Blair!
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
- John Phillip Sousa Award (P)
- Mandarins 2001 DCI Division 2 Champions (P)
- Blue Devils 2003 DCI Division 1 Champions(P)
- DCI I&E 2003 World Class Snare Drum 4th Place (P)
- Los Banos High School 2008 WGI Regional Finalist (M)
- James C. Enochs High School 2009 WGI Regional 3rd Place (M)
- California State University Stanislaus, Bachelor of Music in Music Education
- Beyer High School (E)
- Sacramento Freelancers Winter Percussion (P)
- Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps (P) (E)
- Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps (P)
- Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps (E)
- Vic Firth Education Team Member (E)
- Remo (E)