Carol Williams (organist)

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Carol Williams (organist)
Carol Williams
Background information
Born Great Britain
Genres Classical
Instruments Pipe organ
Years active 1984–present
  • Melcot Music
Website Carol Williams' official website

Carol Anne Williams D.M.A., ARAM, FRCO, FTCL, ARCM is a British-born international concert organist, now living in America. She serves as the Civic Organist[1][2] for the city of San Diego, California, performing regularly at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. She is the Artistic Director[3] of the Spreckels Organ Society; Artist in Residence at[4] St. Paul's Cathedral San Diego; President of the[5] North and Midland School of Music in the UK and Host of the "TourBus"[6] DVD video series.


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[7] where she specialized in organ performing as a student of David Sanger and obtained the Academy's prestigious Recital Diploma together with the LRAM (organ) and the LRAM (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 under the direction of Professor 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 Professor 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.


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;[8] Westminster Abbey; St. Paul's Cathedral; King's College, Cambridge; Queen's College, Oxford; Salisbury Cathedral;[9] Blenheim Palace;[10] 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, Holland, 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 in New York's Fifth Avenue. She also took part in the Virgil Fox Memorial Concert[11][12] 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 has been the San Diego Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society in San Diego, California since 2001.[13] Williams performs an average of 75 concerts a year worldwide.

Carol regularly throws out a wider net to receive new audiences to the pipe organ. She is known for her collaborations with various Jazz, Blues, Pop and Rock bands at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

Williams is known to be cutting edge giving a new spin to the classical pipe organ concert with her programs of intense genre diversity but also engaging the audience a special charismatic humor. Concert patrons have received Williams' live performances with “rock star” enthusiasm.


Williams performs free organ concerts about 20 hours a year raising funds for various charitable organizations[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]



  • Blenheim Palace - A Musical Tour Valentine Music OSV 507
  • Organ Showcase - VHS Videotape Valentine Music OSV-508
  • TourBus 1 to the King of Instruments MCTDVD001 Bell Video
  • TourBus 2 goes to Methuen MCTDVD002 Bell Video
  • TourBus 3 goes to Spreckels MCTDVD003 Bell Video
  • TourBus 4 goes to Paris MCTDVD004 Bell Video
  • TourBus 5 goes to Luxembourg MCTDVD005 Bell Video
  • TourBus 6 goes to Ocean Grove MCTDVD006 Bell Video
  • TourBus 7 goes to Disney Hall MCTDVD007 Bell Video
  • TourBus 8 goes Celtic MCTDVD008 Bell Video
  • TourBus 9 First Congregational Church, Los Angeles MCTDVD009 Bell Video
  • TourBus 10 goes to St. Paul's Cathedral San Diego MCTDVD010 Bell Video
  • TourBus 11 goes to the Compenius Organ in Denmark MCTDVD011 Bell Video


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