- Instrument Principal, Percussion
Aaron Williams (he/him/his) serves as Principal Percussionist with the Des Moines Symphony and the Quad City Symphony. He has also held the positions of Principal Percussionist with the Mansfield Symphony (Mansfield, OH) and Section Percussionist with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony.
Concurrently, Aaron is also an active freelance percussionist. He has performed with the Kansas City Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Orchestra Iowa (Cedar Rapids, IA), Buffalo Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony, and the New World Symphony, among others.
Additional orchestral engagements have lead Aaron to performances on three other continents. He performed with the Rome Festival Orchestra in Rome, Italy. He toured China with the Oberlin Orchestra, giving concerts in Beijing and Shanghai, among other cities. He also performed with the Orquestra de Professores at the Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil.
As a soloist, Aaron has performed David Gillingham’s Marimba Concerto No. 2 with the Des Moines Symphony, Antonio Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto in C Major (marimba) with the Fort Dodge Area Symphony (Fort Dodge, IA), Áskell Másson’s Konzertstück for Snare Drum and Orchestra with the Firelands Symphony (Sandusky, OH), and Paul Creston’s Concertino for Marimba and Orchestra with the Quincy Symphony (Quincy, IL). During the summer, Aaron performs on the steps of the Iowa State Capitol with the Des Moines Metro Concert Band and has been featured as a soloist with the band.
Having great enthusiasm for contemporary chamber music, Aaron served as Artistic Director and percussionist for “Rhythm Unleashed: The Music of Marc Mellits”, a concert on the Quad City Symphony’s Signature Series. In Des Moines, he collaborated with organist Tin-Shi Tam to give the U.S. premieres of two duets for organ and percussion: Phaikon 493 by Leander Kaiser and The Shining City by JacobTV. He has performed on Chamber Music at Salisbury House (Des Moines, IA) and the Des Moines Symphony’s Spotlight at the Temple.
Aaron resides in Des Moines, IA where he maintains a private teaching studio and is on the faculty of the Des Moines Symphony Academy. He is also the Director of Operations for the Des Moines Symphony. He has a Master of Music degree from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He received his high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy. His former teachers include Tom Freer, Michael Rosen, John Alfieri, Keith Aleo, and Dr. Donna Bohn.
Aaron is a Performing Artist for the Pearl Corporation and Adams Musical Instruments.