Shane Williams, Creative Arts Director
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Shane began learning piano from his mother at a very young age, and though never fully learning how to read music, had begun writing and performing original instrumentals by age 10 and playing and singing original songs by age 13. A boy soprano and pure tenor through his formidable years, he balanced his involvement musically between classical choral & ensemble work, city and state fine arts consortiums, musicals, and of course church. This, along with always remaining a true fan of great music and profound writers, allowed him to keep his ear closely tuned to the music impacting culture and nurtured in him a real desire to grow also as a singer, songwriter, and performing artist. “I realized very early what a gift it was to be able to make a melody out of nothing. That a melody truly is bigger than you and if you can hear it, you get to grab it and make it your own for a little while.”
At a crossroads a few years into studying at the University of South Carolina, Shane realized the time had come to share all this at a legitimate level and so he began collaborating with a group of fellow local musicians and friends who quickly banded together and formed the band Silers Bald. There he would spend the better part of the next decade singing, songwriting, touring extensively and playing music for just about anyone, anywhere, and in almost any venue imaginable. Silers Bald soon became the premiere independent band of the South East and gained national recognition signing a record deal with Essential/Sony/BMG Records in 2003 and would go on to play more than 2,000 shows in 8 years and sell almost 100,000 records before coming of the road and calling it quits in 2006. Shane would then spend some time in Nashville honoring his publishing deal as a songwriter and cutting his first solo EP under the name Finnegan Bell until taking his first church staff position as a worship leader and resident musician in 2007 in Charlotte, NC.
This would mark the beginning of a great new season in life and as an artist with a day to day impact within the church and after a phone call from a close friend and former band mate, would soon lead him to serve in Pawley’s Island at Grace Waccamaw Church and after 4 years building and restoring the music team there, to receive the call as the “Cultural Ambassador” to St. Thomas’! Shane is also presently recording his 1st full length record as Finnegan Bell, now an official duo, alongside great friend and Silers Bald band mate Warren Bazemore which is slated for release this Fall!
Most importantly, Shane has been happily married to his beautiful wife Trisha, a childhood & lifelong friend, for 9 years and they are blessed to be the parents of their 2 amazing children, Charlize Maneaux, aka “Charli,” and Finnegan Wayne, aka “Finn!