The Voice of Charles Williams


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When my former voice teacher, McLean Bosfield retired to Mexico, she sent me and my voice to Charles Williams. After a short time of blessed relief and affirmation working under his tutelage, I asked him to work with Sweet Honey In The Rock. For more than a decade now Charles, a true patron saint of the voice, has been integral to our foundation for healthy singing.
- Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Founder of the Grammy Award-winning vocal group, Sweet Honey in the Rock

Charles Williams has an immense knowledge of his area, music and voice production. He is a natural-born teacher. His innate humanity gives him a kindness and a sparkle that are rare in any profession — indeed rare in any human being. His voice is immense and his spirit is immense, and you feel it every minute that you're with him. I count myself lucky to know Charles Williams, and double lucky to count him as my teacher and my friend.
- Ken Ludwig, internationally acclaimed, Tony Award-winning playwright (Crazy for You, Lend Me a Tenor)

Charles Williams understands the voice as an instrument and teaches you to play it better and play it safely. As professional folk singers for over 20 years, we can hear the difference that only a few sessions with Charles makes. Tone, breath control and increased confidence are all benefits of his wisdom. We wish we had met him 20 years ago. His vocal lessons have improved our skills as singers and changed our way of thinking about how to construct and execute vocal parts to songs. From classical to folk, he's ready to help you play your instrument, the voice, better!
- Two-time Grammy Award-winning folk music duo, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

My singing group, Brock and the Rockets, and I have worked with Charles Williams over the past six years. In the course of our working together, Charles began as a great vocal coach and then gradually became a close friend and spiritual resource for each member of the group. Charles's teaching is invigorating, informative, reinforcing, plain stretching, spiritual, powerful. He is equally at ease with unschooled amateurs and trained professionals.
- Brock Holmes, founder of Brock and the Rockets

I have taken vocal lessons with Charles Williams one week a year for the past 9 years, at SAMW (Summer Acoustic Music Week) music camp. He is the best teacher I have ever had in my whole life. He has an uncanny ability to simplify complicated vocal instruction and make it so understandable and easy to apply, that a profound difference can be heard immediately upon trying any of his vocal suggestions.

I love singing, but severely strained my throat over 25 years ago. Since then, I have been very reticent to sing, because my voice would continue to strain so easily. I learned through Charles’ teaching how to warm up my voice, and when I use his techniques, singing doesn’t hurt my throat. I had tried other vocal warm-ups in the past that failed me in this regard.

I am a performing violinist, but have been wanting to incorporate singing into my performance. Because of Charles’ instruction, I have been singing this past year, and having great success. I get wonderful feedback from the audience that my voice is lovely, and how much my singing is enjoyed. As long as I do Charles’ warm-ups and keep his simple suggestions in mind, I can perform without throat strain, and deliver a powerful show. I now perform more vocal numbers than instrumentals with my band, and am always complimented on my voice, even more than my violin playing. I give all the credit to Sir Charles.
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Jackie Damsky, leader of Jackie Damsky & String River

I had never taken a voice lesson. A friend asked me to sing Ave Maria at her son's wedding. In just four lessons, Charles Williams bolstered my confidence and provided me with the basic skills for the job. After the wedding many people told me I sounded like a professional.
- Pam Linnell, student at Augusta Heritage Festival's Vocal Week

I will continue to enjoy my newfound bass notes. How can I keep from singing?
- Graham Dean (student at the Summer Acoustic Music Weekend (SAMW), sponsored by WUMB, University of Massachusetts, Boston)

Sir Charles,
I just wanted to thank you again for all you've done for me. I'm now a fearless singer, maybe not a great singer, but able to express myself freely, and you had a pivotal role in that transformation. This gift of yours has expanded into other areas, way beyond music, and way beyond my ability to articulate it. We've started a music resource center here on our farm, and we've managed to get many people who have never performed to stand up on the stage and reveal themselves. It's a beautiful thing, like a flower blossoming (or maybe a whole forest). You are the finest, most intuitive teacher of any subject that I've had the honor of meeting.
I drove all the way back to North Carolina with the top down, singing, hitting notes formerly out of my range. I'm no longer shy about my voice -- I'll sing anywhere, anytime!
-Dean Driver (student at the Summer Acoustic Music Weekend (SAMW), sponsored by WUMB, University of Massachusetts, Boston)

Being around Charles is like being hooked up to a battery; there's a massive, continual current of positive energy!
- Liz Milner, student

WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT
CHARLES WILLIAMS