Ms. Jessica Williams
Ms. Jessica Williams, Instructor
Jessica Williams is the Instructor of Percussion at Alabama State University. She teaches private, applied lessons, prepares music education majors in the percussion methods course, coaches the ASU Percussion Ensemble, and is the assistant director of the ASU Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.
Ms. Williams has performed with the Grammy award-winning quartet, Third Coast Percussion in a production of John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit at the Fayetteville Botanical Gardens in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She has performed with the Prizm Chamber Orchestra in Memphis, TN, the Contemporary Chamber Players, the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble, the University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Memphis Percussion Ensemble. Ms. Williams has also performed as a percussionist for the Little Mermaid and Newsies at the Desoto Family Theatre in Southaven, Mississippi. She collaborated with Dr. William Shaltis, Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Memphis, to have a performance of Inuksuit on April 22, 2018 at Shelby Farms in Memphis, TN. Ms. Williams has also worked with the Interlochen Summer Academy as their percussion coordinator in the summer of 2018.
Ms. Williams is a clinician and performs throughout the southern United States. She has traveled to local high schools, such as Lexington High School in Lexington, TN presenting a topic on “Perfecting your Performance and Practice using Technology.” Notable performances include the Two Rivers Timpani Summit, the National Conference of Percussion Pedagogy, at the Tennessee Day of Percussion in Huntingdon, TN, the University of Memphis Day of Percussion, and the Sunshine Steelers of the University of Florida. She has also performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention as a competitor in their Marching Festival and the Alabama Music Education Association conference in Montgomery, AL.
Ms. Williams is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Percussion Performance with a cognate in Wind Conducting at the University of Memphis, where she is on track to becoming the first African-American female to hold a doctorate in percussion from the institution. She is currently working on her dissertation, which will focus on the steel pan music of Andy Akiho with an emphasis on his Synesthesia Suite, comparing his works and experience with other composers and their experience with synesthesia which has influenced their works. She has received her Masters of Music Performance from the University of Florida and her Bachelors of Music Education and Bachelors of Music Performance from Alabama State University.