“Ms. Nancy is awesome!! She has changed the way I do things like studying and practicing my instrument for the betterment of myself! I would recommend her to anyone looking for clarinet, saxophone, etc help!” - Josiah Williams
Why do I teach music?
Playing music allowed me to find my voice and grow in confidence while developing leadership and communication skills.
As an educator, I help students overcome technical and musical challenges to find their own voices. I guide students on this adventure, giving them tools to build the skills that will allow them to better connect with music, themselves, and the world around them.
I specialize in teaching students who are committed to improvement and potentially interested in auditioning for All-State events, participating in ensemble and solo contests, competing in national and international competitions, and applying for college scholarships.
“Nancy Williams is an amazing individual to work with. Not only does she put herself into her work 110% but she does it with such grace and joy. She makes anything an enjoyable experience, whether it's rehearsal, a lesson, a coaching, or an excerpts class. I have personally learned how to improve my own playing from her natural ability to teach even in casual situations. She has amazing attention to detail and is always looking to learn while teaching others. I have enjoyed the few years I've gotten to work with her at UNC.”
— Shelby Severance
Dr. Nancy Williams Bio
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, Powder River Symphony, and the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra. 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 the Four Tops.
A Classical improvisation enthusiast, she was 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). Her book on the subject, Woodwind Improvisatory Techniques of the Classical Era: A Pedagogy Method was published in 2021. She is currently working on an interactive, instructional recital of women's music for clarinet and piano.
“Nancy was my clarinet teacher for years, and after every lesson I felt like I had learned something and improved as a musician. She's an excellent clarinetist and excellent at teaching. One of my favorite teachers ever!”
— Bengt Symstad