Our Founding Director

Garth Williams


PRESS RELEASE  March 1, 2018  

Garth Williams to Retire as Musical Director of Cowichan Camerata String Orchestra


(Duncan, BC)  After its April 2018 spring concerts, Garth Williams will be retiring as Musical Director of the Cowichan Camerata String Orchestra (CCSO). Mr. Williams founded the CCSO in 2006 to provide an amateur community orchestra for beginning and intermediate string players of all ages to play a variety of music together. The CCSO is beginning the search for a new musical director for the 2018-19 season. 

Garth Williams attained his B.Mus. and M. Mus. Ed. from the University of British Columbia. For the past fifty years, Mr. Williams has worked as a professional musician, music educator and private teacher. He began his career in professional music with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and also played with the Victoria Symphony, the CBC Chamber Orchestra, and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.   

As a music educator, Mr. Williams has formed string programs in three BC school districts, as well as establishing music programs in secondary schools in Courtenay, Vancouver, and North Vancouver. He also held the position of Musical Director for the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Delta Youth Orchestra, as well as being Founder and Musical Director of the Summer Pops Youth Orchestra in Vancouver. He teaches violin and viola at his home studio, Kantata Studios.  

Mr. Williams is also a composer and arranger, particularly focusing on music for string orchestra, as well as for solo string performers. His Kantata Studios website (http://www.kantatastudios.com) hosts all of his solo, duet, and string orchestra compositions, which can also be found on the website Sheet Music Plus (https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/ensembles/string-orchestra/500137).   

 Mr. Williams is looking forward to continuing to write and arrange string and orchestral compositions after his retirement as CCSO Musical Director. “I have really enjoyed the opportunity of building this orchestra and helping its members grow as musicians. It has been wonderful to work with the Cowichan Camerata String Orchestra on compositions of mine such as Tchaikovsky’s Elegie or a collection of Canadian folk songs called Canadian Mosaic. I hope to be able to continue to write orchestrations that beginning and intermediate string players will enjoy playing together.” 

The CCSO has gathered string musicians between the ages of 10 and 90 years from all over the Cowichan Valley. “We are so grateful for all the time and energy that Garth has poured into developing this orchestra over the years. He has adapted and arranged numerous pieces for us and also contributed original compositions for us to play. We wish him well as he moves into his retirement and has more time to devote to composing,” says Harwood Reimer, CCSO concertmaster. 

The CCSO’s spring concert, A Suite Spring, will take place at Duncan United Church on Friday, April 20th at 7:30 pm. The CCSO will also be performing a benefit concert on Sunday, April 22nd at 7:00 pm, at Sylvan United Church in Mill Bay, with proceeds going to the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.

CowichanCamerata Admin,
Mar 1, 2018, 11:21 PM