In the Spotlight: Dana Williamson


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – “I don’t want the label of strings to be something that people think of as straight up symphony music or straight up Beethoven or Mozart,” explained Dana Williamson. Even though I love those and I grew up with those, I can play any kind of music I want.”

Electric violin: Two words commonly not used together.

But this musical instrument with a wide range of sound fits our next In the Spotlight musician perfectly.

“I can sound like an acoustic if I want to. So, that doesn’t.. People get that right away.”

But its Dana Williamson’s ability to alter her sound, to change from what a typical violin would sound like that makes her unique.

“Then I add the different effects that.. And.. It sounds like an electric guitar. Anything an electric guitar can do I can do on this instrument.”

Dana, like most got into music young. But when she ran into problems while in a rock band, she started looking for something new.

“And I found these instruments that were amazing. Electric violin! Why didn’t I ever think of that? So I got one and throughout the years I have progressed through the different models and got up to the one I am playing now which is called the viper.”

While she still performs, Dana also spends her time teaching middle school music and orchestra

“So I bring in the viper and the kids get a chance to play it if they want. I bring in my other electric violins and they can do that.”

And you better believe she shares her musical philosophies with her students – never shy to steer them in the direction of the electric violin.

“I like to work with improvising with my orchestra kids and getting them more interested in the fact that they don’t just have to do Beethoven, they don’t just have to do Mozart.. They can do whatever they want.”

And no hard feelings Beethoven and Mozart – but it seems classical music isn’t the only genre for string instruments anymore.

“Really there aren’t very many of us. But we all know each other, we’re all a family, we’re all an army. We all want to change the face of string playing and we want to rock and that’s what we do.”

To find out more about Dana and where she will be performing next, visit her Facebook page! provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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