GREENBRIER, Tenn. (WKRN) — Middle Tennessee native Courtney Williams will serve as announcer for his fourth inauguration in Washington, D.C. Wednesday as president-elect Joe Biden takes the presidential oath of office. Williams currently has the proud distinction of being the “Voice of the Navy” as his commanding and resonant voice has been featured on hundreds of high profile concerts and ceremonies.
“My role is the platform announcer for this inauguration so I stand near the door where the dignitaries walk through and as each of them walk through I announce them to the platform,” Williams said. “I sort of serve as the moderator for the events of the day.”
Williams is from Greenbrier, Tennessee and graduated from Greenbrier High School before studying opera at the University of Tennessee.
“My initial exposure to any sort of organized music was really in Middle Tennessee at Greenbrier Middle School where I joined the band,” Williams recalled.
Williams is now a Senior Chief Musician and concert moderator for the U.S. Navy Concert Band.
He’s served as announcer for the inaugurations of President Barack Obama and during the 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump. Williams said it’s a great honor to serve in this capacity during such a historic moment.
“As a member of the military, as a member of the United States Navy Band our entire mission is service and connection. And it doesn’t matter what the political party is. It is about the government that we are supporting and just having that opportunity to see that happen again and again has been really really quite an experience,” he said.
He said there are social distancing measures this year because of COVID-19 but the basic functions of his job remain the same. Still, he said communication is a key factor in making the inauguration run smoothly.
“For instance, the joint task force has a command post where they’re coordinating the actual events of the ceremony. But we also have the joint congressional committee who is coordinating their part of it. Well, I’m kind of the go-between for them because I can see what the joint congressional committee is doing and I can communicate with the joint task force so we have to practice that communication so that it’s concise and clear,” Williams explained.
The U.S. Navy Band spokesman said Senior Chief Williams also does a lot of behind-the-scenes work, as a senior leader in the command working in the areas of national tour operations, security, and training.