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Carol Williams (organist)
Dr. Carol Williams
Background information
Born 1962
"Great Britain
Genres "Classical
Occupation(s) "Organist, "composer
Instruments "Pipe organ
Years active 1984–present
Labels Melcot Music
Website http://www.melcot.com/

Carol Anne Williams "D.M.A., "ARAM, "FRCO, "FTCL, "ARCM, San Diego Civic Organist Emerita [1] [2] (born 1962) is a British-born international concert "organist and "composer, now living in America. She served from October 2001 and resigned her post in October 2016 [3] [4] [5] [6] as Civic Organist for the city of "San Diego, California, performing regularly at the "Spreckels Organ Pavilion.[1][2] She was concurrently serving as the Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society;[3] producing the largest organ festival in North America since 2001. Formally the Artist in Residence at St. Paul's Cathedral San Diego;[4] and presently Artist in Residence at Court Street United Methodist Church in Lynchburg [7], VA where she is producing the Virginia International Organ Festival beginning the summer of 2017. Host of "TourBus", a pipe organ documentary series.[5] and Host of her YouTube series "On The Bench with Dr. Carol".

Carol Williams performing ""Flight of the Bumblebee" at the "West Point Cadet Chapel.



British born, Williams was raised in a Welsh family with many musical influences. She began private lessons at age five and could read music before she could read English. Her formal training started with five years at the "Royal Academy of Music[6] where she specialized in organ performing as a student of "David Sanger. She obtained the Academy's prestigious Recital Diploma, together with the "LRAM for both "organ and "piano. She was awarded all the major prizes for organ performing and, during her studies, she became a "Fellow of the "Royal College of Organists and a Fellow of "Trinity College London, as well as an Associate of the "Royal College of Music.

Williams has also studied with "Daniel Roth, the Organist at the Church of "St. Sulpice, "Paris. Moving to the United States, Williams undertook postgraduate study at "Yale University [7] under the direction of "Thomas Murray. She was appointed University Chapel Organist and was awarded an Artist Diploma (AD) together with the "Charles Ives Prize for outstanding achievement. She then relocated to "New York City where she became the Associate Organist at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Long Island's Garden City. She undertook doctoral study under McNeil Robinson at the "Manhattan School of Music, where she received the "Helen Cohn award for her Doctor of Musical Arts ("D.M.A.) degree.[8]


Williams' performances have taken her all over the world. Some popular venues include: "St. Sulpice and "Notre Dame, Paris; "Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles;[9] "Westminster Abbey; "St. Paul's Cathedral; "King's College, Cambridge; "The Queen's College, Oxford; "Salisbury Cathedral;[10] "Blenheim Palace;[11] "Woolsey Hall, "Yale University; Memorial Chapel, "Harvard University; "St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York; "Washington National Cathedral; "St. Ignatius Loyola, New York; "Riverside Church, New York. She has also given numerous concerts in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Monaco, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, China and Russia.

Williams has been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in recognition of her contribution to music. A regular broadcaster in the UK and in America, she has been the guest performer with a number of leading orchestras including the "BBC Concert Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra and the Beijing Symphony Orchestra. She performed the inaugural recitals on a newly installed Austin organ in "Beijing's Forbidden City Concert Hall.

Williams has been interviewed on many radio programs, in which she has highlighted her profound love of the King of Instruments, and she is featured in the national-awareness video "Pulling out all the Stops" when she was filmed in concert at "St. Thomas' Church on New York's Fifth Avenue. She also took part in the "Virgil Fox Memorial Concert[12][13] held in the fall of 2000 at New York's Riverside Church, and a recording of the event was released. Williams is also presently hosting a video series TourBus, featuring the great and small, famous and unique pipe organs of the world, its music, people and places.

In October 2001, Williams became the first woman in the United States to be appointed Civic Organist. She served as the San Diego Civic Organist and "Artistic Director of the "Spreckels Organ Society in "San Diego, California from 2001 to 2016.[14][15][16] Williams performs an average of 75 concerts a year worldwide.

Williams regularly attracts new audiences to the pipe organ[17] with charismatic humor and programs of intense genre diversity, including collaborations with various Jazz, Blues, Pop and Rock bands.[18] Concert patrons have received her live performances with “rock star” enthusiasm.


Williams performs about 20 hours of free organ concerts a year to raise awareness and funds for various charitable organizations.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29]


Published by Melcot Music:


Produced by Melcot Music:[30]

Produced by Rumley Music:[31]


Produced by Valentine Music:

Produced by Bell Video:[5]


  1. ^ http://www.balboapark.org/in-the-park/spreckels-organ-pavilion
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120227080517/http://www.thediapason.com/dp/index.cfm?fuseaction=showArticle&articleID=5417&learnMore=yes&CFID=9362354&CFTOKEN=48873025
  3. ^ http://www.sosorgan.com/
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  5. ^ a b "TourBus", Bell Video
  6. ^ "Royal Academy of Music#Alumni
  7. ^ http://music.yale.edu/2013/11/08/carol-williams-98ad-first-american-woman-serve-civic-organist/#more-10506
  8. ^ https://www.alumniconnections.com/olc/membersonly/MNM/memberupdate/app.sph/memberupdate.app?FNC=todetailspage__Asearch_results_html___MNM___14323
  9. ^ Bio at Walt Disney Concert Hall
  10. ^ bio at Salisbury Cathedral Archived January 5, 2009, at the "Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ bio at Blenham Palace
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2002-02-23. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  13. ^ http://www.gothic-catalog.com/Virgil_Fox_Memorial_Concert_various_p/g-49122.htm
  14. ^ "With Jets Providing Accompaniment, a Rare City Treasure Stands Exposed", New York Times, April 28, 2007
  15. ^ "San Diego Civic Organist Carol Williams stepping down", San Diego Union-Tribune, September 8, 2016
  16. ^ "Career transition for Dr. Carol Williams", Spreckels Organ Society, August 30, 2016
  17. ^ http://www.telegram.com/article/20120417/NEWS/104179894&Template=printart
  18. ^ http://diffuser.fm/drive-like-jehu-spreckels-organ/
  19. ^ http://www.redcross.org/news/event/ca/san-diego/FREE-Organ-Pavilion-Concert-benefitting-the-Red-Cross
  20. ^ http://www.balboapark.org/calendar/event/2012-09-02/pipe-organ-marathon-concert-benefit-operation-rebound
  21. ^ http://operationrebound.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=471167&supid=358491335
  22. ^ http://www.balboapark.org/blogs/cosmos-doggie-blog/bark-park-7-offers-tail-wagging-fun-all#.USPP9uiahl8
  23. ^ http://presidiosentinel.com/entertainment/spreckels-organ-concert-benefits-the-san-diego-chapter-of-the-american-red-cross
  24. ^ http://www.performingartslive.com/Events/Spreckels-Organ-Pavilion-Civic-Organist-Carol-Williams-Hosts-12-Hour-Organ-Concert-Marathon-Benefiting-Wounded-Warriors-5242015
  25. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q9o6RQ9Q7I
  26. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDokY3P30eg
  27. ^ http://timesofsandiego.com/arts/2014/12/31/civic-organist-plans-free-new-years-day-concert-spreckels/
  28. ^ http://sandiegodowntownnews.com/give-us-a-home/
  29. ^ http://ism.yale.edu/news/carol-williams-ad-97
  30. ^ Melcot Music
  31. ^ House of Scotland Pipe Band

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