On Sunday, Aug. 5, Fjeldberg Lutheran Church members in Huxley will be treated to something special when it comes to music.
By invitation from church member Mel Vetter, his great-nephew, Aaron Willams, will be performing at the 9 a.m. service that morning. Of interest to many in the area, Williams is the grandson of Sheldahl natives, Bob and Elsie Mosebach, who both recently passed away.
“I will be performing a few pieces on the marimba and then one rousing solo on the snare drum during the postlude,” said Williams, 33, who is principal percussionist with the Des Moines Symphony and the Quad City Symphony. “On the marimba, I will perform classical, religious and secular pieces; four in total, using both two mallets and four mallets.”
Williams grew up in Quincy, Ill., and received his Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory and his Master of Music degree from Cleveland State University. He started as principal percussionist with both orchestras at the same time in 2010.
His love of music started when he was young. “I started playing percussion in the fourth grade,” he said. “Music completely impassioned me by the time I was in junior high school and that’s when I decided I wanted to make music professionally for the rest of my life.
When it comes to who influenced him in music, he said private instructors have had the greatest impact on him. “My teacher in Quincy helped fuel my passion early on. My teacher at Oberlin really taught me how to be a musician. And my teacher at Cleveland State taught me how to play in an orchestra.”
As a symphony member, Williams stays very busy. “In addition to my contracted positions in Des Moines and Quad Cities, I also freelance. So I frequently play with other orchestras in the region (Orchestra Iowa in Cedar Rapids, Omaha Symphony, etc.) On average, I probably perform three out of four weekends each month, September through May. Each orchestra will rehearse in the evenings the week before the concerts. So I spend a lot of time on I-80 driving back and forth to rehearsals and concerts.”
On Aug. 5, Williams will be on I-35 heading for the Huxley exit. He’s looking forward to playing at Fjeldberg. “I look forward to sharing my music-making during worship and contributing in a way not often done in a church service,” he said. “The marimba is a very resonant instrument, and I will enjoy filling the sanctuary with its sound.”
Community members who aren’t members of the church are invited to attend the service if they’d like to hear Williams play.