Kathy Williams-DeVries is a native of Brisbane, Australia. Her first musical experience was learning the ukulele from her father at the age of 5, before starting recorder at age 7, clarinet at age 9, at first teaching herself piano before beginning formal lessons at the 11. Clarinet became her main love, winning every underage section of the Queensland Clarinet Society annual competition from under 12 to Open. At the age of 12 she joined the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, now Redlands Sinfonia, and began playing with the Queensland Youth Orchestra and Conservatorium Music School Orchestras at the age of 14. She undertook lessons with Barbara Lockwood at the Conservatorium Music School.
Kathy began a Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music upon graduating high school and soon took out academic and performance awards. In 1995 she became bass clarinettist with Queensland Youth Symphony and toured on Eb with the Australian Youth Orchestra in 1996. She became a casual with the Queensland Symphony and then Philharmonic orchestras in 1997 until she left for the UK in 2000. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music Performance 1st class honours in 1999, she studied for two months at the Australian Academy of Music, came second in the International Clarinet Association Young artists Competition in 2000 then moved to London to study on exchange with the Royal College of Music. She decided against a career in clarinet performance in 2002. However from 2007 on, began a musical partnership with Albert St Uniting Church organist Greg Hartay-Szabo and has performed with him many times not only at his church, but St John’s Cathedral, St Andrew’s Uniting Church and the Queensland Conservatorium.
In 2010 she began a Master of Music Studies on clarinet and nurtured her interest in Music Technology. By mid-way through her degree she found an interest in Baroque music and initially bought a C clarinet to play oboe and flute Baroque works, before buying an alto recorder and rediscovering her love of the instrument. After attending several EMSQ recorder afternoons, she continued buying recorders and now has about 20. She joined Brisbane Baroque Players and discovered the chalumeau. She now plays recorder and chalumeau with Queensland Baroque and in April was contracted by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra to play descant recorder in Opera Queensland’s production of John Adams’ A Flowering Tree.
Kathy has been clarinet soloist twice with the Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Harlow Symphony Orchestra in the UK, recorder and chalumeau soloist with Brisbane Baroque Players and recorder soloist with Queensland Baroque. She also performs on recorder, classical clarinet and chalumeau at Albert St and recently hosted a Recorder Extravaganza at St Mark’s Anglican Church The Gap. Her next solo concert is for Bastille Day.
She has an impressive collection of online YouTube and Soundcloud recordings.