Dr. Brandon Williams is an assistant professor of choral music and choral music education at Rutgers. Williams appears frequently as a guest conductor, clinician, and presenter throughout the country. He was most recently featured in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia.
As a secondary vocal music educator, Williams amassed a decade of middle and high school teaching experience in St. Louis, Missouri, where he also served as a conductor with the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus, the St. Louis Children’s Choirs, and as an adjunct faculty member at Maryville University. His school ensembles received invitations to perform at the 2010 and 2013 Missouri Music Educators Association conventions, and his middle school students were featured on the GIA DVD titled “How to Make A Good Choir Sound Great!” Williams was awarded the 2009 Missouri Choral Directors Association Prelude Award for excellence in choral music, an Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Missouri-Columbia Honors College, and was a graduate level Semi-Finalist in the 2015 ACDA National Student Conducting Competition.
Williams holds degrees from Western Illinois University (BA), the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (MME), and Michigan State University (DMA), where he was awarded the prestigious University Enrichment Graduate Fellowship Award. He also earned an Artist Teacher Diploma from the Choral Music Experience: Institute for Choral Teacher Education. His conducting teachers include Dr. Chet Alwes, Dr. Joe Grant, Dr. Doreen Rao, Dr. David Rayl, Dr. Jonathan Reed, Dr. Sandra Snow and Dr. James Stegall.
As a composer and arranger, Williams is published with Hal Leonard in the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Series and with G. Schirmer in the Andrea Ramsey Choral Series. His research interests include the retention and attrition of middle-level vocal music teachers, the intersection of music and identity, and choral music as social justice, specifically in the William Grant Still choral orchestral cantata And They Lynched Him On A Tree (1940). His articles on choral pedagogy are published in the Choral Journal. Williams is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Michigan School Vocal Music Association, and the National Association for Music Education.
Ji Hea Hwang is a staff pianist at Rutgers University and Mannes School of Music. In the past summers, she has worked as a collaborative pianist at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Castleton Festival, and Bay View Music Festival, and has served as a rehearsal pianist for productions of The Cunning Little Vixen (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble), La Boheme (Bay View Music Festival), and La Fanciulla del West (Apotheosis Opera).
In addition to vocal accompanying, she specializes in brass repertoire, and has performed with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Utah Symphony, and London Philharmonic. She has a BA in East Asian Studies from the Johns Hopkins University and a MM in Collaborative Piano from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.