About Karen Cole

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, and Hamilton Southeastern HS 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. She has also been a participating instructor at the Performing Arts Institute in Lawrence Township, Indianapolis, Indiana. 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.

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 arranger/instructor and percussion coordinator for the Kilties Drum & Bugle Corps in Racine, Wisconsin. She also instructs the front ensemble and assists with winter percussion at Bloomington High School North in Bloomington, Indiana. Most recently, Karen has started the Redhawk Drumline, a grades 5-8 drumline for Sidener Academy in Indianapolis. As there is no band program at Sidener, this is a ground breaking program for the school.