Some people are just born to music.
Patrice Williamson’s childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee was filled with music. Her late father, Webster Williamson, was an amateur singer, choir director, and pillar of the St. Stephen’s Baptist Church music ministry, and he introduced his children early on to both sacred music and the secular styles of legendary figures like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Lena Horne. Encouraged by her mother, Lillie Rivers Williamson, Patrice followed in the footsteps of her elder sister Denise and began studying the violin, making her debut at age four in front of the St. Stephen’s congregation in a duet with her sister. From that moment on she was hooked on music, and in addition to her violin lessons, she began studying the piano at age seven and the flute at age eleven.
By her teens, Patrice was playing the flute quite seriously, and was involved in numerous high school orchestras and bands. However, when she enrolled at the University of Tennessee (UT), she decided to choose a “practical” major ? communications. By her second year though, she realized that this was not where her heart lay, and she decided to change her major to Flute Performance. She was afraid to tell her family, but her mother very matter-of-factly replied, “Well, it’s about time. I didn’t know what you were doing in broadcasting when you’ve been in music your whole life!”