Composer, Lyricist, Author
A former teacher of the visually impaired, Karen stayed at home with her children until they started school. At that point, her background in piano, singing, and dancing led her to an exciting career in song writing. In her first effort, she penned the lyrics and composed the music for Jim Conant’s Love! At the Café! Next, she co-wrote the musical From Generation to Generation with author Elaine Jabenis. Karen also composed Generation’s music and lyrics. Both works earned Theater Arts Guild Writing awards. Generation has been produced in Omaha, St. Louis, and Beverly Hills, California.
At Princess Diana’s death, Karen, an ardent admirer, expressed her grief by writing songs about the princess. Three months and 60 songs later, Karen decided to create a musical about Diana’s life, beginning with Prince Charles’ courtship. “I am so saddened by the death of this wonderful woman who gave so much to the world,” Karen lamented. “Writing Princess Diana, the Musical is my way of trying to keep her memory alive.”
Besides her theater work, Karen composed the theme song for the international Odyssey of the Mind scholastic competition. The song, O.M.—It’s Creativity!, is performed annually at the O.M. World Finals. In addition, her compelling One People, One Destiny, written with Joanie Jacobson, was sung at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles to celebrate Israel’s 50th anniversary.
A prolific composer, Karen’s other works include a song written and performed for Nobel Peace Prizewinner Elie Wiesel, and an upbeat tune for ” Omaha, the Movie,” written by Dan Mirvish. She enjoys collaborating with Chuck Penington, who orchestrates her music. Karen and Chuck, the musical conductor for the Grammy-award winning group, Manheim Streamroller, are combining their talents again on a new pop CD to be released in 1999.
Karen and her husband, Gary, have three wonderful children Jenny, Mark, and Rachel.