Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

Lauren Williams – Violin & Viola

Lauren Williams, Violinist and Violist
Background:
Born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, Lauren began her formal music training at the age of 7 with piano lessons. She made the switch over to violin three years later after hearing one of her best childhood friends perform a recital.
She began violin and viola studies with Nancy Feiner and Professor Oscar Ravina of the New York Philharmonic. She attended the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC where she continued her studies with Lee-Chin Siow and Jan-Marie Joyce, Principal Violist of the Charleston Symphony. She has participated in summer festivals such as the Rockland Summer Institute for Orchestral and Chamber Studies, Amati Music Festival, and Piccolo Spoleto’s Young Artist Series.
Mrs. Williams earned her BA in Music from the College of Charleston and has been performing for weddings, and teaching violin since 2002. In 2003, she attended the Suzuki Institute at Furman University where she received her Suzuki teaching certification. She has participated and and received her Suzuki training under Joanne Bath of East Carolina University and has been a registered Suzuki teacher since 2005. She continues to teach and perform full-time in the Charleston area.

Qualifications:
BA in Music, College of Charleston
Teaching since 2006
Suzuki Association of the Americas teacher certification
Active performer in the Charleston area

Associations:
Suzuki Association of the Americas, member
Lead Violinist for the Palmetto Strings Wedding Ensembles

Mike Williams – Violin / Fiddle

Michael Williams, ViolinistBackground:
Michael was born in a musical family, his father being a classical guitarist,mother a classical pianist, and older brother a classical and jazz pianist. Michael first began to play the piano at the age of seven then took up the violin at age 9. Continuing private instruction from members of the Charleston Symphony, he entered Charleston’s School of the Arts and while he was there he attended the South Carolina All-State Orchestra each year for 5 years, being 5th in the state and 1st in the Region Orchestra. He performs at the Charleston Grill (www.charlestongrill.com) and has been one of the core performers there since 2001.  He continued his violin studies at the College of Charleston – classical under Lee-Chin Siow and jazz under David Heywood, and graduated in Music Performance on the violin. He performs for weddings around the Charleston area as the principle violinist for the Palmetto Strings. He has been teaching in Charleston & Mount Pleasant and has a passion for teaching music / violin and wants to show how rewarding it can be.

Qualifications
BA in Music, College of Charleston
Teaching since 2007
Active performer in the Charleston area (see below in “Associations”)

Associations
Manager of the Palmetto Strings Wedding Ensembles
In-house Musician for 5-star Resort Hotel, the Sanctuary at Kiawah | www.kiawahresort.com
In-house Musician, Charleston Grill | www.charlestongrill.com

Lonnie Root – Cello

Lonnie Root, CellistBackground:
Lonnie originally hails from Fairfield, Connecticut. He was immediately drawn to the natural beauty and cultural diversity of Charleston and felt equally about the College of Charleston. He became immediately active within the college as he moved up to co-principal of the orchestra and participated in their chamber groups, concerts, and various master classes under the master tutelage of his teacher Natalia Khoma. His work spread to the community as he began playing weddings, church services, and was given a seat with the Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra under the great maestro Donald Portnoy. Lonnie finished out his last full semester of school playing to a sold out Sottile Theatre of 800 people featuring the works of young composers / arrangers Andrew Walker and Lee Marchbanks featuring their brainchild of Radiohead arrangements for a classical ensemble. He is currently either teaching, or playing in various ensembles and festivals around Charleston as he remains very active in the classical music scene, performing for weddings and private events with the Palmetto Strings.

Qualifications:
BA in Music, College of Charleston
Teaching since 2006
Active performer in the Charleston area

Associations:
Core Cellist for the Palmetto Strings
Cellist for Milhouse Band
Substitute Cellist for the Charleston Symphony

Bob Williams – Guitar, Bass & Drums

Bob Williams, GuitaristBackground:
Bob Williams has been a performer and educator for over 30 years. After receiving a bachelor of music degree from Methodist University he participated in master classes with Michael Lorimer, a student of Segovia. He has developed classical guitar programs at two colleges in North Carolina and has written two method books which have sold over 4000 copies. Besides performing classical works with chamber groups and the symphonic setting, he has arranged scores of popular arrangements for the classical guitar. These pieces can be heard at the Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island and the Charleston Grill in Charleston Place Hotel downtown where he performs weekly. Many of Bob’s students have gone on to major in classical guitar at various colleges and schools of music as well as attend the Governor’s School guitar program in North and South Carolina.  You may also read about his Modern Method Book for Guitar.  Bob has knowledge and for beginning to intermediate bass and drums.

Qualifications:
BA in Music
30 years teaching experience
Band Director for 8 years
Active performer for Saxophone & Guitar

Associations:
In-House Musician – Charleston Grill & Jasmine Porch restaurants
Principle Guitarist for the Palmetto Strings

JoAnne Killingsworth – Piano

JoAnne Killingsworth, pianist

Background:
JoAnne Killingsworth is a native Charlestonian with twenty-five years of teaching experience.  She is the music director of St. Benedict Catholic Church and performs weekly at the Thoroughbred Club located within the Charleston Place Hotel. Past experience includes twenty three years as a pianist for the restaurant Roberts of Charleston. Students have the opportunity to hear their teacher perform at the Thoroughbred Club every Sunday and Thursday evenings.

Qualifications
25 years teaching experience.

Associations
In-House Musician – Thoroughbred Club at Charleston Place
Music Director of St. Benedict Catholic Church

Erin Norton – Violin & Piano

Erin Norton Violin & Piano

Background: As the daughter of a classical pianist, Erin has always been a lover of music and the creative arts. She began her musical training at age five through a Suzuki piano school and joined the school orchestra in 5th grade with the violin. She graduated from the College of Charleston in 2007 and again in 2009 with a double B.A. in Music Theory & Composition and History. During her time at the College she played violin with the CofC Chamber Orchestra, studied jazz piano under the late Tommy Gil, initiated a comprehensive study on Gullah music under the mentorship of Dr. Trevor Weston, studied abroad in Havana, Cuba, and performed with the indie rock trio Glee of which she wrote and performed all original repertoire. In 2012, she earned her M.A.T. in Secondary Education from the Citadel Graduate College. Having taught music for over a decade and history for 3 years, Erin has experience teaching in both the private studio setting as well as the large classroom environment. She is passionate about helping students discover their own, unique musical “voice” and grow in their love and appreciation of the arts. In her spare time, Erin enjoys jamming with local indie artists and has been featured on the albums of Joel T. Hamilton & Mechanical River, Slow Runner, and Run Dan Run.

Qualifications
B.A. in Music Theory & Composition
M.A.T. in Secondary Education
Over 10 years teaching experience

Associations
Palmetto Strings Charleston
Lowcountry Pianist & Co.