Karen P. Thomas
Karen P. Thomas is a nationally known leader in the field of choral music and performance, as a conductor, composer, and arts advocate. An award-winning composer, her music has been praised as “superb work of the utmost sensitivity and beauty.” Her music is regularly performed internationally by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble, The Vocal Consort of Brussels, NOTUS, and Cathedra of the Washington National Cathedral. Among her numerous commissions are works for the Harvard/Radcliffe Choirs, the Grand Jubilee in Rome, the American Guild of Organists, and the Association of Anglican Musicians. She received the 2015 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America and American Composers Forum. In addition to her work as a composer, Karen is also the Artistic Director and Conductor of Seattle Pro Musica, with whom she received the Margaret Hillis Award from Chorus America. She has conducted at international festivals in Europe and North America, including the Berkshire Choral International, the Bergen International Festival, and the Alliance World Festival of Women’s Singing. She has lectured for Chorus America, the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Seattle Symphony, and she has received awards from the NEA, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and ASCAP, among others. For her leadership in multiple areas, including making choral ensembles welcoming spaces for transgender and nonbinary singers, she received a 2018 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award. Named the Washington State “Outstanding Choral Director” for 2012, she has been recognized for her “charismatic…magnetic podium presence” and “sweeping vision.” She serves on the boards of Chorus America and the American Choral Directors Association, and was a founding member of the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium.