Karen Mari, Trombone

In addition to being a trombonist with the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble, Karen is a proud member of both the trombone faculty and program staff at the Merit School of Music. She won the 2nd trombone position in the Fox Valley Orchestra in June 2016, and holds the principal trombone position in the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra.

Karen earned a degree in music education from Indiana University, where she studied with Peter Ellefson, was a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi. She spent a semester studying music, art history, and pastries in Austria with former Vienna Philharmonic trombonist William McElheney – an opportunity that opened up her playing (and taste buds) to European influences. Karen was also an avid vocalist in a past life, and her experiences with choral approaches to music have dramatically impacted her performing and teaching ideologies.


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