Karen Clark's father was a bass player with a local jazz group. One of the other musicians in the group was also a music teacher and he needed a bass player for his orchestra. Ms. Clark filled in the position and hasn't stopped playing since.
She received her B.M. and M.M. in Music Education degrees from The University of Arizona. She was an orchestra teacher for the Tucson Unified School District for over 30 years. She is also a member of the Music Educators National Conference and the American String Teachers Association.
Ms. Clark has been a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra since 1966, and is married to former TSO bass player Norman Clark. They have one son, Dana, who is a student at The University of Arizona. Ms. Clark's hobbies include horseback riding, square dancing, and line dancing.
When did you start playing your instrument? I began playing the bass when I entered the 7th grade.
Are you from a musical family? My paternal grandmother graduated from a music school with a major in piano and spent her life teaching students and playing organ for local churches. My father and uncle both played bass with local dance bands.
Do you play any other instruments? Piano and cello, but minimally!
What makes your particular instrument special? It is large, has a very distinctive look, no known maker and an interesting history (spent several years under someone’s mobile home after surviving a car crash).
What advice would you give to kids learning to play your instrument? Let the joy and satisfaction you get from playing feed your desire.
If you could play a different instrument, what would it be? I always wanted to play the bassoon but my hands were too small!
Favorite composer: Brahms
What might your career be if you hadn’t chosen to be a musician? Boring!
Hobbies: My horse and line dancing
Hometown: Erie, PA