Dr. Kenyon Williams has worked throughout the United States as a professional performer, educator, arranger, and clinician. A graduate of Abilene Christian University, the Hartt School of Music, and the University of Kentucky, he has performed as a guest soloist and section member for numerous orchestras, including the Abilene Philharmonic (TX), the Louisville Symphony (KY), the Lexington Philharmonic (KY), and currently serves as Principal Percussionist for the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. As an educator, he has taught at the secondary school level as well as at Abilene Christian University (TX), Transylvania University (KY), and Hardin Simmons University (TX). Dr. Williams is currently the Director of Percussion Studies at Minnesota State University Moorhead where he maintains an active teaching and performing schedule and directs the acclaimed “Fuego Tropical” Steel Drum and Salsa Ensemble as well as hands-on world music ensembles in Javanese gamelan, African drumming, and Brazilian samba. His interests have taken him abroad for extended studies in Ghana, Cuba, Brazil, Indonesia, and Trinidad, where he performed with the legendary Invaders Steel Orchestra in Panorama 2002 under the auspices of a Kentucky Opportunity Performing Arts Fellowship. In the United States, he has taken his love for the music of the Caribbean to new levels by establishing, arranging, and performing for steel bands and Afro-Cuban ensembles in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas. Dr. Williams is a Yamaha Performing Artist and endorses Yamaha and Latin Percussion instruments, Innovative sticks and mallets, and Coyle Steel Drums, through which he has published numerous original arrangements and transcriptions.
Aside from his duties at MSUM and with the FM Symphony, he also performs in and directs the popular professional MSUM-based steel drum quintet Poco Fuego and is the timbalero and director of the only professional salsa band in the Red River Valley region, Soulsa de Fargo. As a percussion soloist, he has presented solo recitals and concerto appearances across the country and was recently honored with a highly competitive Minnesota State Arts Board Artist's Development Grant to aid in the commissioning and recording of original works for percussion. Dr. Williams is currently serving as Treasurer of the Minnesota Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and has been appointed chair of the World Percussion Committee of PAS, the largest body of professional pecussionists in the world with over 9,000 members in over 75 chapters around the world.