Patrice Williamson

Associate Professor

"I teach private instruction in the Voice Department as well as a couple of ensembles, an R&B class, and a mixed-style class, both with improvisation. I pretty much cover the gamut, which is a reflection of my own singing life. In fact, last weekend I had a jazz gig with my vocal trio Friday night, then Saturday morning I sang with my gospel choir for a special service, Saturday night I had a pop and R&B gig for a wedding, and Sunday afternoon I perfomed show tunes with my musical theater group."

"It's important to learn a variety of music. You have to sing some classical, some jazz, some R&B, and some country. You have it all in an umbrella. But in the end, you need to do what brings you the most joy. Nine times out of ten, when you're singing the song that resonates closest to your heart, that's the one people are going to remember most."

"You need to do what you love. Whenever I perform, I try to sing what I really like. However, there will be gigs where you have to sing songs you might not have selected on your own. But if it's your own gig, if you're creating a program, make sure it's something you love. If you sing a whole night of music that moves you, you're going to go home on cloud nine."

"I want to help students pull from their life experience. You need to pull from happy times, sad times, from your joy, your pain, and even anger. The people who have been most successful are the people who believe in what they're doing and connect to the music that they're singing."

 

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., University of Tennessee
  • M.M., Artist Diploma, New England Conservatory
  • Vocalist, flutist, and violinist
  • Leader of the Patrice Williamson Group
  • Member of the ESP Vocal Jazz Trio
  • Publications in Jazz Times
  • Recordings as a leader include Free to Dream and My Shining Hours; as a contributor, First Cut (ESP Vocal Trio) and New Christmas (Pamela Hines)