Tamara Williams

Tamara Williams with sunglasses playing the drums

Tamara Williams received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Sam Houston State University in 2010. During her undergraduate experience, she participated in every SHSU performing ensemble: wind ensemble (principal percussionist), symphony orchestra (principal percussionist), drumline (captain), percussion ensemble, new music projects, and steel band, in addition to performing with a metal band and playing drums for a singer-songwriter.

After receiving her master’s degree in music performance from The University of Arizona (’13) she began a career in music education and is currently a band director with an emphasis in percussion at a title one middle school in Houston.

In addition to teaching, Williams plays in four blues bands in the Houston area, all led by internationally known artists: Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy, Tweed Smith & The Internationals, Trudy Lynn and Steve Krase. She is also a contract percussionist with rising pop artist Sugar Joiko, and principal percussionist of The Woodlands Symphony.

Recently highlighted in the “Featured Artist Spotlight” by The Percussive Arts Society Diversity Alliance, she is a “Mark of Excellence” national percussion ensemble winner and “Music for All” national winner.

No stranger to overcoming adversity, Williams prides herself on channeling her determination to her students.

“I am a woman working in the male-dominated field of percussion, I am of mixed race (black and white), I grew up in suburbia with dark skin, and I am an out-lesbian thriving in the Bible Belt,” she said. “I am an extremely active, performing percussionist/drummer, known to display skillful musicianship and honest playfulness in a wide range of musical styles.”

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