Our Founding Musical Director

Garth Williams - CCSO Musical Director, 2006 to 2018.

Garth Williams founded the CCSO in September, 2006 with a vision to provide on opportunity for beginning and intermediate string players of all ages to play an enjoyable variety of music together in an amateur community orchestra. His tremendous commitment to this cause has drawn numerous musicians from between the ages of 10 and 90 from the Cowichan Valley and beyond into the orchestra. He has adapted and arranged numerous pieces and also contributed original compositions for us to play.

Background biographical information: Garth Williams attained his B.Mus. and M. Mus. Ed. from the University of British Columbia. For over 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.

At the end of April 2018--after eleven amazing seasons--Mr. Williams stepped down from the musical director position of the CCSO. We are grateful for all the time and energy that he has poured into teaching us and developing this orchestra! Mr. Williams was quoted as saying, “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.”

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).