Kiara Williams Awards:
2014 Best Overall at the Irish Spring Festival
2015 WV Junior Fiddle Champion at Vandalia Gathering
2015 3rd place at the Mid Atlantic Grand Fiddle Championship
2015 1st place at the August Heritage Festival
2015 1st place Junior Division Mountaineer Week
2016 1st place Junior Division Mountaineer Week
2016 Best Overall at the Irish Spring Festival
2017 1st place Junior Division Mountaineer Week
Kiara Williams, fiddler/violinist in the duo Key to Adam, located in West Virginia, living her dream through music.
When Kiara was 8 years old, her mother showed her a video of Charlie Daniels performing one of his greatest hits, "The Devil went down to Georgia." Immediately, Kiara wanted to pick up the fiddle and learn, but her elementary school didn't have a strings program. She had to wait until she got into Middle School to be able to learn. Two years later, during Christmas, Kiara opened a gift from her parents and it was a fiddle. The joy and happiness on her face was full of excitement knowing that the following year she would be going to middle school so she could start learning her instrument. That following year, Kiara was learning violin quickly, but still felt that missing piece to her music, the fast old-time and cajun music that her mother shared with her when she was little. Since her orchestra teacher was strictly classical, Kiara's parents found her a teacher that would teach her fiddle style music.
A year later, Kiara was on Twitter and saw that Charlie Daniels was in West Virginia at the Tri-County Fair. Kiara was very excited that her favorite musician was in the mountain state, and her parents decided to surprise her by taking her to that show. When they got there, Kiara kept talking about how wonderful it would be if he was here at this festival. Finally, her parents told her she was going to see Charlie in concert that day. She was so excited and filled with joy! Before finding their seats, Kiara and her parents went to the merch table. Kiara's mother was talking to the merchandise guy and told him how much Kiara loved Charlie Daniels music and he is the reason she is learning to play fiddle. Kiara and her family got done talking to the man and went to find their seats. Ten minutes before the show started the merchandise guy came up to Kiara and her family and said, "Do you want to meet Charlie Daniels?" He took Kiara's family back to his tour bus and Kiara and her parents got to meet him. Kiara told Charlie about herself and he gave her one of his fiddle bows and his autograph. She was so excited and never expected that to happen.
After months of taking lessons, Kiara realized her fiddle teacher was teaching her wrong. So she started to teach herself the music she loved. Kiara started learning to play along with old time fiddlers and dancing at local Square Dances, and this brought so much joy to her! She met an instrument repairer by the name of Bob Smakula at a party and he told her about this program called Augusta in Randolph County, WV, and that she should check out the Old Time and Cajun week classes there. Kiara got a scholarship from the program there and couldn't wait to learn so much. During this time, Kiara was looking for a new instrument and contacted Bob to schedule an appointment. The next week, Kiara and her mother went to the shop, and she started trying out fiddles. She tried out so many instruments and then saw this 1794 fiddle made in Austria, and when she started playing it she knew it was the one. It had such a sweet old sound that was perfect.
In May 2015, Kiara was just finishing middle school and went down for the 2nd time to Vandalia Gathering in Charleston, WV for the state fiddle competition. It was her second time competing in the competition. They announced the places and Kiara was the 2015 West Virginia Junior Fiddle Champion for the state. She was very excited and couldn't believe that she had just been named the WV champion. That following July, Kiara went to Augusta, where she would learn Cajun music, old-time music, and make new friends. Kiara learned so much in these 2 weeks and progressed in her music ability so much. Augusta is a wonderful program!
After meeting Charlie Daniels in 2013, she always wanted his signature on her fiddle. In August 2015, her parents brought her to the Mountian Festival at Mylan Park in Morgantown, WV. Her family had VIP tickets and the security guards took us back to see Charlie and Kiara got her picture and his signature on her fiddle. Kiara went on to win numerous first place awards at junior fiddle competitions.
Kiara was still playing her fiddle at square dances and her friend kept telling her about this open mic at a coffee shop she should check out. She didn't go for months, until finally, one day, she walked in with her fiddle and sat down. There was a gentleman named Adam who ran the open mic and was playing one of his original songs. He encouraged people to play along and she picked up her fiddle and began to play along. The room fell silent and the music they created together was hauntingly beautiful. A That was the day Key to Adam was born.
Coming from two different backgrounds made for a very eclectic mix of genres. Their sets range from Metallica to Canon in D to Whiskey Before Breakfast. While Adam and Kiara love playing at weddings and their regular gigs, they find fulfillment in volunteering at nursing homes and showing kids how to play instruments. When they see the residents at the nursing homes with their eyes closed swaying back and forth while listening to our music - or seeing the kids light up when they play brings joy to them and brightens their day.