Yvonne Carter Williams

8350obitswilliamscxd   The late Theodore Williams and Yvonne  have four daughters, Lynora, Alison, Meredith and Lesley. A nationally renowned science educator, Theodore Williams was best known for his efforts to make science more accessible to women and minorities. He received a variety of honors and awards, including the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. In addition to his many achievements in education, Williams was very active in the community, including involvement with the 20/30 Club, the Wayne Center for the Arts, Salvation Army, Boys’ Village, People-to-People and Every Woman’s House. In addition, he worked with Habitat for Humanity and was a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder. He also established the Wooster Chamber Music Series.  Yvonne now produces the series in his memory.

Wooster Chamber Music Series

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The Wooster Chamber Music Series celebrates its 29th season in 2013-14. Like many successful stories, the Chamber Series started out as one person’s passion and turned into a successful enterprise now a quarter century old.

Dr. Ted Williams (1930-2005), at the time a professor of Chemistry at The College of Wooster, likely had no idea what he was setting in motion 25 years ago when he began the Wooster Chamber Music Series. Ted always loved music, but he developed a passion for chamber music when he was on a sabbatical leave one year in Pittsburgh. The Wooster Chamber Music Series has become his dream fulfilled, born out of that passion and his desire to share that music with the Wooster community.

The remarkable success of the Series is owed not only to that passion of Ted’s but also to those who collaborated with him early on:  Joe Fishelson, who contributed to the initial financial boost; Dr. Sam Cho, of Pittsburgh, who showed Ted how to approach agents; and Roberta Looney, who worked side by side with Ted over many years when the concerts were housed at the Wayne Center for the Arts.

For the first 18 years at the Wayne Center for the Arts, and now the last 11 at The College of Wooster, the Wooster Chamber Music Series has brought in some of the top Chamber ensembles in the world. Whether it is the Juilliard String Quartet or the Emerson String Quartet, Wooster is a regular stop for the world’s classical musical elite.

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The late Dr. Ted Williams (center) with  the Emerson String Quartet.

“I don’t think Ted Williams knew what he was setting in motion 25 years ago when he began the Wooster Chamber Music Series. Ted always loved music, but he developed a passion for chamber music when he was on a sabbatical leave one year in Pittsburgh. The Wooster Chamber Music Series has become his dream fulfilled, born out of that passion and his desire to share that music with this community. The remarkable success of our series is owed not only to that passion of Ted’s but also to those who collaborated with him early on: Joe Fishelson, who contributed to the initial financial boost; Dr. Sam Cho, of Pittsburgh, who showed Ted how to approach agents; and Roberta Looney, who worked side by side with Ted over many years when the concerts were housed at the Wayne Center for the Arts.

I have tried, also with the help of a few close friends and associates, most notably, Isobel Matson, to continue the legacy of bringing this world-class music to Wooster. There are many to whom we are indebted. Many of you have been faithful supporters who have joined us in the enjoyment of this music. You have indicated by that support that this effort is valued in this community and it is your support that sustains us. It is our hope that many others of you will discover tonight that you too, find this music to be a delicious experience. The late Ruth Rhodes was one of the series’ most ardent fans, and it was through her generosity that the endowment fund was first established. The proceeds from tonight’s concert will, of course, add to that endowment through the Theodore R. Williams Memorial Fund for Chamber Music, at the Wayne County Community Foundation.

Benefit concert by the Emerson String Quartet in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Wooster Chamber Music Series

Benefit concert by the Emerson String Quartet in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Wooster Chamber Music Series. (Dr. Williams with daughters Meredith, Lynora, Lesley and Alison – Emerson Quartet.)

Over the years, in his own inimitable way, Ted developed enduring, close friendships with many of the musicians who performed in the series, none more valued than that with the members of the Emerson String Quartet. There is no clearer demonstration of that than their generosity in sharing, in Ted’s memory, their world-recognized musicianship with us in this benefit appearance. Our deepest thanks to them, and to you.” – Yvonne C. Williams