Providing music education, percussion instruction, & youth development for the greater Indianapolis, Indiana area.
Welcome! I am a music educator in the Indianapolis area. I have vast experience working with small and large programs, from newly developed to nationally known. Please let me know how I can help you, your students, or your program by contacting me (information below)
Karen Cole has a bachelor’s in music education with a percussion emphasis from Illinois State University and has spent 20 years educating youth in Illinois and Indiana. While in college, she participated in the Symphonic Band, Symphonic Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Marching Band, and was principle percussionist for the Wind Symphony. She also spent several summers teaching and assisting with the ISU Junior High Band Camp, the Bands of America Summer Symposium, and toured with the Northern Aurora Drum and Bugle Corps in their front ensemble. Her student teaching was under Robert Sheldon, renowned composer, clinician, and director.
Karen has also instructed and written for many groups in the state of Illinois including the Illinois State University drumline, and the Normal Community WestHigh School pit who was a semi-finalist at the Bands of America Grand National Championships. Now, residing in Indiana, she has worked with such groups as NorthWood HS, Lawrence North HS, Hamilton Southeastern HS, and Bloomington HS North helping them to achieve concert gold ratings, ISSMA marching band finals, Indiana Percussion Association medalists, Mid-States Band Association runner-up, and Bands of America Semi-Finals.
Spending two summers on the road with the Cincinnati Glory Drum & Bugle Corps, Karen wrote and taught for the front ensemble. Karen has also been front ensemble instructor & writer, percussion captionhead, and program director for the Kilties Drum & Bugle Corps in Racine, WI. She has also been a participating instructor at the Performing Arts Institute in Lawrence Township, Indianapolis, Indiana. Karen helped start the Redhawk Drumline, a grades 5-8 drumline for Sidener Academy in Indianapolis. She has worked with educators and artists such as David Collier, Kevin Lepper, James Campbell, Bret Kuhn, Toby Orgeron, Joe Kurzi, John Bixby, Michael Coers, Bruce McConnell, Alan Frye, David Schurger, and Ben Phelps, Ben Handel, and Danny Walsh.
Karen performs with the Fisher’s Wind Symphony, the Indiana Wind Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphonic Band. She regularly adjudicates for the Indiana State School Music Association and is a member of the Percussive Arts Society. Currently, she is the front ensemble instructor for the Marian University Marching Knights and for Knight Star Winter Percussion in Indianapolis. She also instructs the front ensemble and assists with winter percussion at Bloomington High School North in Bloomington, Indiana.