Christopher Dale Williams
Chris Williams, band conductor and trombonist, has taught in four Seventh-day Adventist Academies and been an administrator in one. He presently resides in Colorado, where he is a freelance performer; involved in audio and video recording, editing, and production; and serves as an internet consultant.
Williams was born in Madison, Tennessee, the older of two sons born to Theo and Lillian Rogers Williams. By the time he was nine, the family had resided in several countries in the Middle East, including Iraq, Libya, and Lebanon. His younger brother, Larry, was born while the family was living in Baghdad, Iraq. The family moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1963.
Although neither of their parents was a musician, they made it possible for both sons to begin music in the fifth grade, with Chris taking lessons on trombone and Larry studying instruments in the percussion family. Although Chris had difficulties as a student in Mile High Academy, band director Ivan Mallernee, a trombonist, took a special interest in him and encouraged him in his studies. More importantly, he gave him lessons on his instrument and helped him forge an identity as a performing musician by involving him in a number of ensembles.
After graduating from MHA in 1974, Williams enrolled at Union College as a music education major. Ellis Olson, brass teacher, and Dan Shultz, band director, helped him overcome weaknesses in basic music theory, and by the beginning of his sophomore year, he had become a key brass player in the college's instrumental ensembles and was singing in the college's choral groups, directed by Lynn Wickham.
In the summer of 1979 he married Melia Dinesen, a multi-talented music education major and singer who was also proficient in piano, flute, cello, and other instruments. Both were members of the Unionaires, the premiere college choral group, and major players in other aspects of the college music program. In his senior year, 1979-1980, he worked closely with Robert Walters, then in his first year as chair of the music program.
Following their graduation from UC in 1980, the Williamses were hired to teach at Dakota Adventist Academy in Bismarck, North Dakota, where she led the choir and he directed the band. They subsequently taught at Platte Valley Academy in Nebraska, and Maplewood Academy in Minnesota, before going to Campion Academy in Colorado, in 1997. For the next five years, he directed the band while she led out in other aspects of the music program.
Earlier, in 1991, Chris had completed a master's in academic administration at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Because of that and his apparent leadership ability, he was chosen to serve as the academy principal in 2003, a position he held for the next two years.
During that time, Melia assumed direction of the band and has since continued to direct all aspects of the music program, due to reductions in the academy faculty. Chris now works as a freelance musician, playing in a number of ensembles and for different occasions and events. He also edits and works with audio and video recordings and is an Internet consultant.
They have one son, Brandon Michael, who plays trumpet, string bass, and guitar, as well as other brass instruments. He is presently pursuing a degree in business management at UC.
Sources: Information provided by Christopher Williams, Online Sources; Personal Knowledge.