Karen P. Thomas

Summer Speaker

Karen P. Thomas is a nationally known leader in the field of choral music and performance, as a conductor, composer, and arts advocate.

As the Artistic Director and Conductor of Seattle Pro Musica, she received the Margaret Hillis Award from Chorus America, and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming. 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 received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, 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 the 2018 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award. Named the Washington State “Outstanding Choral Director”, she has been recognized for her “charismatic…magnetic podium presence” and “sweeping vision.”

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 Choral Director’s Association, and the American Guild of Organists.