Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 1st 2014 Contents JANINE CHARLES-FARRAY
What could an established player
with over 25 years of practical and
performing experience need with
a bachelor's degree in music?
Ask musician and composer Dean
Williams is a professional electric
guitarist who recently graduated
from the University of T&T (UTT)
with a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in
Western music, with a specialisation
in classical guitar.
His musical experience includes
being a lead guitarist and producer
for some of T&T's biggest music
acts---Machel Montano and Xtatik,
3Canal and Destra Garcia.
He's played for Jamaican dancehall
artiste Sean Paul and Haitian-Amer-
ican celebrity Wyclef Jean.
Williams has performed at jazz
festivals all over the region including
the St Lucia, Tobago and St Kitts
festivals, and also teaches guitar les-
sons to young and aspiring musi-
cians. He is also a composer and
Parents led by example
For Williams, the drive to contin-
uously pursue a goal of academic
excellence in any endeavour began
with the early encouragement of his
"I grew up in a household where
education was very important; both
my parents were school principals.
school at any age, so for this degree,
it wasn't anything challenging."
Williams was formally trained in
music theory at the Pan Pipers Music
School. Always an academic, he
excelled at Hillview College in sci-
ences and then later on attended the
John Donaldson Technical Institute
where he was exposed to the creative
career opportunities which led to
him becoming serious about the
With the UTT BFA music pro-
gramme, Williams saw an oppor-
tunity to enhance his artistic and
operational skills and take his chosen
career to the next level. The disci-
pline of his earlier years at school
seemed to prepare him for the rigour
of the UTT academic programme.
"The classroom experience (at
UTT) was very enriching and chal-
lenging. It's not only being able to
play the music but to manage the
courses and manage your time."
Stretching his talent
The experience also opened up a
whole new world of opportunities
for stretching his talent in different
but complimentary fields.
"I have a lot more respect for peo-
ple who dance and act overall. I also
acted in several local films---small
parts---and that was done purely
because of the training I got.
"The acting experience made me
much more comfortable to be on
stage speaking with my guitar.
Before, it was a serious challenge."
He also values the training he
received in theatre, as it has opened
up a whole new facet of his on-stage
performance and the possibilities of
what he had do during his solo per-
Williams' muse has also been
working overtime as he has been
enthusiastically composing new
work. During his time studying he
claims to have written more music
and songs than ever before.
He composed and performed a
short work for full string orchestra
with brass and timpani for his
recently performed final recital. He
was also able to collaborate in com-
posing music for a short film which
was being produced at the school.
While at UTT he did his first
music production for a television
series, a full theme and soundtrack
for the television production What's
Cooking Now by Unilever. The
theme song won him a Silver Addy
award. "That made me very happy.
Second place is not too bad for a
For Williams, a whole new world
of creative expression and commer-
cial marketability has been opened
up, allowing him to forge boldly into
the future with a renewed verve,
energy and goal-oriented purpose.
He also intends to generously share
what he has learned with his stu-
The importance of marketing
The opportunities which came
about because of the programme
also inspired and taught him a valu-
able lesson on taking a more focused
look at himself as a business and a
"Marketing and the music busi-
ness go hand in hand, and looking
at yourself as a business is important.
I've become more aware and con-
scious of those things and I am a
lot more confident and sure about
Hailing additional benefits of
increased opportunities for network-
ing and time management, Williams
advises any musician, no matter
what age or level of experience to
invest in furthering their theoretical
and practical musical experience.
"The more educated you are, the
more informed you are about your
craft and about the industry. Our
industry is growing, changing and
evolving and the present musicians
need to equip themselves to deal
with the changes that are coming."
'Verses' winner tells of
dedication to the arts
Guitar star takes next step with BFA
Dean Williams plays at his final recital at Napa, UTT,
in fulfilment of his BFA requirements, on May 18.
PHOTO COURTESY AARON MAHARAJ PHOTOGRAPHY
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