Faculty & Staff

Drew Williams

Department Chair: Strings

Private Lessons, Suzuki-Alegre Strings, Chamber Music


DePaul University
Artist Diploma

Rice University
Masters of Music

Cleveland Institute of Music
Bachelors of Music


“Inspiring teachers” is what drew a young Andrew Williams to music. As a violin instructor, Mr. Williams hopes to pay forward that experience and inspire others—passing on the insights and traditions he has learned as a performer to younger generations of musicians.

Following an extensive music performance education, which includes a Bachelor of Music from The Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from Rice University, and a Performance Certificate from DePaul University, Mr. Williams joined the Merit faculty in 2008. He teaches group classes and private lessons, and coaches chamber groups. In addition to his work at Merit, Mr. Williams teaches applied violin studies at Carthage College in Wisconsin. He regularly seeks out teacher training through the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

As a former member of Fifth House Ensemble, Mr. Williams has given masterclasses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Carthage College, and has been a faculty member at New Music on the Point in Wisconsin and at Vermont’s fresh inc music festival. He considers himself a “constructor of lives,” and enjoys working with kids of all ages, particularly when he can help them overcome difficulties.

Mr. Williams continues to perform professionally, including as a soloist at the Ravinia Festival in 2012, and for numerous live broadcasts on WFMT, Chicago’s classical music station. He performed in Carnegie Hall as a part of the New York String Seminar and is a former principal second violin for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.

Aside from his music interests, Mr. Williams and his wife love to travel and explore exciting places such as Mozambique, India and Iceland. He has completed four marathons and is a huge Chicago Bulls fan.

« Back to Faculty & Staff

Contact Information

“I love that there are so many kids from different backgrounds at Merit; all working toward similar goals of excellence.”