Jana Williams became the Walton High School Choral Director in 2003. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Boston University and her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Georgia State University in Music Education and Piano Performance. Additional summer study was completed at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, the Salzedo International Harp Institute, Camden, ME, the Aspen Music Festival, Aspen, CO and the Juilliard Choral Conductors Workshop, NYC. Dr. Williams is a National Board Certified Teacher and holds Gifted Certification as well as AP Music Theory Certification. She was “Teacher of the Year” her first year teaching.
Under her direction, Walton Choirs have been invited to sing at four Georgia Music Educators Association Inservice Conferences: Bel Canto, a women’s choir, performed in 2005; Walton Men’s Ensemble performed in 2007; and A Cappella, an auditioned mixed choir, performed in 2010 and 2013. Walton and Lassiter Choirs performed in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a “Very Merry Holiday Pops.” In 2013, the combined advanced choruses of Walton and Lassiter performed with the ATL Symphony Musicians in a concert of choral/orchestral masterworks.
Dr. Williams’ choirs have performed at the Basilica of St. Peter’s, the Vatican, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, Austria, Salzburg Cathedral and Melk Abbey, Austria, Basilica of San Marco and Basilica of San Zaccharia, Venice, Italy, Cathedral of St. Patrick, New York City, Carnegie Hall, New York City, the National Cathedral, Washington, DC, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris, The American Church, Paris, and the American Cemetery in Normandy, France. Her choirs consistently receive Superior Ratings at the Georgia Music Educators Association Choral Performance Evaluations. Walton Tour Choir was featured in the journal of The National association for Music Education, Teaching Music, January, 2011.
Dr. Williams is a Head Adjudicator for the Georgia Music Educators Association and has conducted GMEA Honor Choruses. She has accompanied many ACDA and GMEA Honor Choirs as well as Georgia All-State Choirs. She was featured in an article for Teaching Music, August 2010 (a journal for The National Association for Music Education.) Dr. Williams presented research at the 2012 National Association for Music Education Biennial Conference in St. Louis, MO. Additionally, Dr. Williams wrote an article on male choral participation in middle and high school for the journal of the American Choral Directors Association, Choral Journal, May, 2012. She is a part-time Lecturer for Boston University. Her husband, Dr. Brian Williams, is the Choral Director at Lassiter High School. They are pretty much thinking and talking about chorus students and choral music all the time!
Maggie Taylor joined the Walton Choral Department as half-time assistant director in 2013 and is now our full-time assistant. Ms. Taylor is the Director for our Women’s Concert Choir and Bel Canto. Ms. Taylor is a Walton Chorus Alumna who went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Samford University.
Recently returned from studying acting and voice in New York City with Dr. Bruce Kolb, Ms. Taylor now works both sides of the curtain at Act3 Playhouse in Sandy Springs, GA: she is a two-time *Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Award winner for Best Leading Actress in a Musical as well as Act3’s youth artistic director and community liaison, dedicated to developing the future of the arts through her work with children and Sandy Springs residents.
Through her work with Act3 and Musical Theatre Workshop (MTW) over the past three years, Ms. Taylor has produced and directed kids/junior musicals such as Annie (Act3), Beauty and the Beast (Act3), Dear Edwina (MTW), Honk (MTW), Winnie the Pooh (Act3), The Little Mermaid (Act3), 101 Dalmatians (Act3/MTW), Jungle Book (Act3), Sleeping Beauty (Act3) and Aladdin (Act3). In addition to shows, intensive workshops and summer camp, she also works to develop and expand Act3’s Arts Academy which opens its doors to over 100 children each week.
In her spare time, Ms. Taylors continues to perform around the southeast. She performed “et incarnatus est” from Mozart’s C-Minor Mass as a guest soloist with the Southeastern Chamber Orchestra and, with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, debuted an original choral work commissioned in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Some of her most memorable roles include Kathy (Company), Amahl (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Anne (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Dorothy Brown (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Daisy Hilton (SideShow), Timoune* (Once on This Island), Brooke (Noises Off), Clio/Kira* (Xanadu), Shelby (Steel Magnolias), Elle (Legally Blonde the Musical), Mary Jo (A Piece of My Heart) and Sylvia (Sylvia).