McWilliams holds a B.M. and a M.M. in Piano Performance, from the University of Toronto and a D.M.A. from the University of Montreal. He lived in Poland for a year, where he studied with Andrzej Jasinski and researched the Polish folk elements in Chopin’s mazurkas and polonaises.He also studied in Germany, where he earned an Artist Diploma with highest distinction under pianist Oleg Maisenberg at the Stuttgart Musikhochschule.

McWilliams has enjoyed a successful performing career, having performed in over a dozen countries, and has been an award winner at competitions of Porto (Portugal), the Regina Symphony, the Canadian Music Competitions and the Canadian National Competitive Festival of Music. He performs and records chamber music as a member of the Meridian Trio.

McWilliams joined the faculty at St. Olaf after having previously held teaching positions at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada and at the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto. Also active as a clinician, he has presented performance and pedagogy workshops across North America.