Students from throughout Louisiana were chosen by their band directors to audition for the band. Williams was auditioning along with graduate and undergraduate students from throughout the state.
Six other Northwestern State students, De Davis of Winona, Texas, Rhea Bumpass of Haughton, William Weston and LeAndre Benton of Longview, Texas, Ryan Golden of Aledo, Texas and Tristan Lex of Bossier City, also were in the Intercollegiate Band.
“It was an exciting experience for me. It’s been a long time since I was in an honor band and to get first chair was something,” said Williams.
The auditions were a series of technical pieces Williams had rehearsed for several weeks.
“Auditions are mind over matter,” said Williams. “You have to learn to control your emotions and block out the distractions that may happen.”
Williams started playing trumpet in sixth grade.
“The band director put out the various instruments and I chose the trumpet. It had three buttons, and I thought that meant it would be easy to play,” said Williams. “As I progressed, I found out how challenging it can be.”
Williams’ first exposure to Northwestern State came in eighth grade when he was part of the Delcambre High School Band that was in the NSU Marching Band Festival. Williams’ sister, Amber, was the drum major and Northwestern State Director of Bands Bill Brent offered her a scholarship that day.
“Our band did really well. We won everything in our class,” said Williams. “I kept coming back to campus and fell in love with Northwestern State.”
His sister, now named Amber LeBlanc, is a science teacher at Northwest High School in Opelousas and is working toward a master’s degree in teaching.
Williams has a 3.94 grade point average and is a member of the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band, the NSU Jazz Orchestra, Pep Band and Wind Symphony.
“I want to do as well as I can academically and play trumpet as much as possible,” said Williams. “If you decline a chance to be part of an ensemble and play, you don’t get that chance back.”
The Jazz Orchestra will take part in the annual NSU Jazz Festival on March 2-3. The Wind Symphony performs on March 5.