Karen Keating, Professor of Music, is director of Shenandoah Chorus, Cantus Singers and the music director/conductor for SU’s innovative Opera Up Close. A teacher of conducting, she has been on the faculty since 1989. Karen earned a Bachelor of Music degree from James Madison University and has Diplomas in organ performance and choral conducting from the University of Salzburg “Mozarteum”. She has a Doctoral degree in performance from Shenandoah University and studied with Grammy award winner Robert Shafer. While in Austria, Karen studied with several renowned conductors including Herbert von Karajan, Kurt Prestel, Walter Hagen-Groll and Nicholas Harnoncourt. She served as the director of the Robert Schollum Chor Hallein, and as the accompanist and assistant director of the Salzburger Liedertafel.
Throughout her career, Karen has worked with many distinguished artists: singers Julianne Baird, Werner Hollweg, Christopher Merritt and Barbara Bonney; organist Elisabeth Bigenzahn-Ullmann; conductors Vaclav Neumann, Hans Graf and Leopold Hager; and opera directors Lauren Flanigan, Edwin Cahill and Nic Muni. Her choirs have performed for Alice Parker, Chanticleer, Anonymous 4 and at ACDA regional conventions. Shenandoah Chorus was invited to sing the world premiere of composer Stephen Melillo’s Kakehashi: That We Might Live. She travelled with her choir to Tokyo, Japan to record Melillo’s piece with the Central Band of the Japan National Air Self Defense Force. Her two-piano arrangement of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms was performed by the choir of Trinity Wall Street under the baton of Julian Wachner and by Da Camera with Houston Chamber Choir under the direction of Robert Simpson.
Karen has been a Musical Director and conductor for Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre since 1995 and has conducted a number of musicals including West Side Story, The Producers, Fiddler on the Roof, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Legally Blonde, South Pacific, Peter Pan, Crazy for You and Man of La Mancha. She is also in demand as a clinician and adjudicator for choral festivals throughout Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
At Shenandoah, Karen has been the accompanist for many faculty and student recitals as well as choir master for numerous opera productions, including the premiere of Russell Woolen’s The Birthday of the Infanta, which was performed at the Kennedy Center. She has participated as a performer and conductor for various recitals and concerts within the Bach/Handel festival.
Karen has performed with The Washington Chorus as the mezzo-soprano soloist on their concert tours to Germany, Austria, and France. Karen has also collaborated with colleagues Michael Forest and Byron Jones on two CD projects: “Behold that Star: A Collection of Christmas Spirituals” with Forest and “What have you done to my Heart”, a collection of French cabaret songs with Jones.
Associated Productions42nd Street (1991)Beauty and the Beast (2017)Crazy For You (2013)Curtains (2011)Kismet (1991)Legally Blonde (2012)Mamma Mia! (2018)Man of La Mancha (2014)My Fair Lady (2016)Oklahoma! (2010)Oliver! (2011)Peter Pan (2012)Shrek (2013)Spamalot (2014)The Addams Family (2015)The Music Man (2015)The Pirates of Penzance (2016)White Christmas (2010)