AU student sings for a cause as he pursues his Broadway dreams

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:28 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Theaters may be shut down, but one Augusta University student is looking to keep the music alive through Broadway’s online singing competition. He’s hoping to earn the opportunity of a lifetime.

Listening to Ontario Williams sing, you would never guess this hasn’t been a lifelong passion.

“I started singing in the seventh grade,” Williams said.

He caught the musical bug watching his brother perform in a school play.

“He was on stage during ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ He was playing the character of LeFou. He was on stage doing his scene and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! That looks fun,’” Williams said.

That’s LeFou, Gaston’s singing sidekick by the way. But from there, Williams' musical passion was born.

“When I first started, everyone was like, ‘Oh, you can’t sing. You got to stop singing, stop singing.’ I actually flipped that into my motivation. I was like ‘OK, I think I can sing, so I’m good,’” Williams said.

Now he studies music education at AU and is also a student teacher for music at Greenbrier Middle School in Evans.

Scrolling through Facebook one night, he saw an advertisement for a singing competition with Broadway. The winner gets to record and release a song with Broadway’s label, Broadway Records.

“It’s for a good cause, as well,” Williams explained.

Broadway Records will also donate o$1,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice.

“My charity would be Stephen’s Johnson Syndrome Foundation. It’s a rare skin disease, most people don’t know about it. A very close family member had it and it really just was an eye-opener, so I’d love to give back to that charity,” Williams said.

With big dreams of the big stage, Williams is hoping this competition proves he has what it takes.

“If I win this competition, it’ll be not only for myself but for my hometown of Milledgeville, Ga., my family, my teachers. It’ll be for everyone that’s helped me and supported me through this journey,” Williams said.

Ontario is currently auditioning for master’s programs for music and hopes to one day move to New York to pursue musical theater.

How to help

If you’d like to vote for Ontario to move on, this round’s voting ends tomorrow at midnight, so be sure to do it soon.

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