Making music with 'faith, peace and love' is student composer's 'calling'

Watch for a new CBS 6 Month of Giving surprise every day in December on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m.
Donovan Williams
Posted at 9:36 AM, Dec 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-12 15:29:18-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Meteorologist Mike Goldberg recently surprised a gifted high school student at the GreenSpring International Academy of Music as part of the CBS 6 Month of Giving made possible with the help of Virginia Credit Union.

Donovan Williams, whose main instrument is violin but who also plays the piano, takes composition lessons with Chris Marshall from England.

Marshall is a popular classical and film composer who has written for the London Symphony Orchestra and the Welsh Proms.

Donovan Williams
Donovan Williams

Williams was playing one of his works on the piano titled "Another Day," which is based off an idea from an electronic dance music piece by the same name, when Goldberg came to surprise him.

The teen, who is preparing to head off to college in the fall, said composing allows him to express himself in a divine way.

"I also believe it's a calling of mine. I believe that I've been given the ability to communicate through music. And I believe that it's one of my purposes in life to communicate faith, peace and love through what I write," Williams explained. "And I aim to kind of create a sound that resonates with everybody, regardless of your background, culture or identifier. And I just want to make music that unifies people with the Holy Spirit."

Mike Goldberg and Donovan Williams
Mike Goldberg and Donovan Williams

Williams called studying with Marshall "priceless" and said the experience is "really beyond anything I can put into words."

Goldberg presented Williams with a certificate good for a month of lessons from Marshall.

"I wanted to make a difference in your life, since you're making a difference in many people's lives, by contributing to your composition lessons," Goldberg said. "And all I ask in return is that someday when the time comes, and you are well established that you pay it back by encouraging and inspiring a young, talented musician like yourself... and I'm sure you will."

"I appreciate that," Williams replied. "Thank you so much for this opportunity."

Williams has applied to numerous schools where he hopes to major in music, while also participating in competitive sports. He is also a talented athlete who plays both baseball and football.

The CBS 6 Month of Giving made possible by Virginia Credit Union is underway. Watch for a new surprise every day in December on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. Have an idea about who we should surprise next, click here to email our team.