Dr. David Williams and Mrs. Kay Williams have devoted their professional lives in service to music education in the Bloomington-Normal community since 1976. Kay had taught hundreds of woodwind students in her private studio with many of her students selected for district and state honor bands, other performance honors, and several excelling professionally in music. David, emeritus professor of music and arts technology at Illinois State University, is recognized internationally for his writings, lectures, and workshops in music education, psychomusicology, and arts technology.

Both David and Kay have performed in community ensembles for musicals, church programs, and especially, the Bloomington-Normal Community Concert Band. This endowment is dedicated to the need to continue to support music education in the Central Illinois community and to promote enjoyment, education, performance, and creative expression through music activities. The endowment's focus is on supporting seed funds for special needs and new initiatives that serve to broaden music outreach to all people, young and old, in the community.

If you would like to donate to this endowment, click on the button below.

David & Kay Williams Music Education Grant

Criteria for Grant Funding

To apply for the David and Kay Williams Music Education Grant, use IPCF's Mirza/Arts & Culture Grant application adhering to the unique "Selection Criteria" for the Williams grants. Please note, for more information on grant cycles, click here.

Definitions: "Traditional music" instruments or ensembles shall be comprised of instruments traditionally used in concert bands and orchestras: strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion and piano as well as participatory/folk instruments such as guitars, ukuleles, Orff instruments, and the like. "Ensembles" may be any combination of traditional instruments from trios to full band and orchestra configurations.

Selection criteria (please specifically note the criteria targeted in the grant application by number and title):

  1. Innovative music technology. Proposals to support programs that include innovative technology in music experiences for K-12 students, regardless of their music training, using a combination of traditional instruments and music technology. The emphasis here is on music technology and its “innovative use” in music teaching and learning. Examples may be a composer's competition for a score that integrates software or hardware synthesizers or non-traditional digital instruments with traditional instruments; a performance that mixes digital non-traditional instruments with traditional instruments; a music arrangement for hand-held tablets or smartphones as non-traditional instruments; or the use of unique electronic music devices that let mentally or physically challenged students perform with students playing traditional instruments.
  2. Participatory/folk music instruments. Proposals to support one-time purchase of participatory/folk instruments that will support a planned educational activity that engages people of any age in shared music-making experiences. (Examples may be ukuleles and guitars, Orff instruments, drumming instruments, portable electronic music devices like keyboards or sampling devices, or any other instruments that create an participatory, music making activity for musicians of any age and ability.)
  3. Equipment for music activities of disadvantaged or special-needs persons of any age and ability. Proposals to support one-time purchase of unique needs for music performance equipment in support of music programs, ensembles, and activities that promote music creativity and/or performance experiences for disadvantage or special-needs persons, in whole or in part, of any age and any level of music ability. (Examples may be performance risers, stands, or other staging equipment; used, loaned, or rented music instruments; music technology workstation hardware/software for creative music work; special music technology equipment enabling special-needs persons to participate in music making; and similar requests.)
  4. Free community music education concerts. Proposals to support a one-time need for youth or multi-generational ensembles that offer free concerts with an education mission to the community. (Examples include community concert bands and orchestras, school bands and orchestras, established jazz or folk music ensembles, and the like.)

Past Recipients

The following programs received funding from the David & Kay Williams Music Education Endowment:


  • Community Concert Band – $4,000
    “New Music for the People” - To bring a new, original piece of concert band music to as many people as possible, including both musicians and audience members. Funded entirely by the David and Kay Williams Music Education Fund.
  • Music Connections Foundation – $4,200
    “Niños y Música” - To develop English language skills in parents and children, educate parents on how to interact actively with their children through music and promote positive parenting behaviors to foster optimal child development at home. Funded in part by the David and Kay Williams Music Education Fund.


  • Share the Music – $1,809
    “Instrument Lending Program” - To enable participation in music programs at schools, by making instruments available to those who cannot afford them.


  • Mt. Pulaski CUSD 23 Music Department – $2,696
    “Risers for Mt. Pulaski Concerts and Logan County Music Festival” to purchase risers, providing ample room and a safe place for students to perform.


  • Prairie Central Elementary School CUSD #8 – $1,985
    “General Music”
    to get students to move, create, think, dance and make music using a combination of instruments and method  music learning; grant will purchase instruments.


  • Sheridan School – $700
    “Bum-Bah, Bum-Bah, Bum, Bum, Bum … Drumming Resources for Rhythmic Competency” to purchase supplies for 30 can drum kits for classroom and resources for teaching the rhythm material to students.
  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra Inc. – $5,000
    “Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts for Kids – Peter and the Wolf with the Magic Circle Mime Company” to provide more than 800 free tickets to Concert for Kids to McLean County elementary students from low-income neighborhoods.