Karen Thompson



Richland County, SC


  • Music

Geographical Availability

  • Upstate
  • Midlands
  • PeeDee
  • Low Country


Artist Bio

Karen is a native of Charleston, SC where she grew up in a musical family. She began playing the piano at age 7 and the violin at age 8. While in High School, she began playing in the school string orchestra and the Charleston Youth Symphony. She accepted a scholarship at the University of South Carolina where she studied Music.

Soon after completing her studies, she took her first teaching job to begin the first ever strings program in Lexington School District Two. The program grew immensely from 40 students between 4 middle school to 97+ students at Fulmer Middle School alone where she was employed full time.

Outside of school, Karen has utilized her talents through the arts by performing in the Resonance String Quartet which she co-founded at the age of 19. They have traveled all over the Carolinas, Georgia, and to Freeport Bahamas sharing her love of music! A highlight of her career was performing in Freeport Bahamas for hundreds of students to promote the arts. She quotes ” I will never forget the look of excitement in the eyes of those students”.

Karen has also performed with the SC Philharmonic, Long Bay, Florence, and Aiken Symphony, In addition, she has had the pleasure of performing for renowned artists like Ray Charles, The Four Tops, Lou Rawls, Gladys Night, Jonathan Butler, Layla Hathaway, and The Pope.

All of this began with one of her favorite teachers, Martha Potts, who made her believe she could do anything 🙂

Artist Statement

Music is and has always been an important part of my life. From the time I was first introduced to stringed instruments my life has been filled with immense joy. I am certified in Strings, Choral, and School Counseling with the SC. Department of Education. Over the years, I had the pleasure of starting the strings program in Lexington School District with approximately 40 students among 4 different middle schools. By the 6th year I had 97 students at Fulmer Middle School. The students were very talented and earned a Superior rating from what was then called Concert Festival. Although I spent the next 22 years as a school counselor, I never left music. It has always been present by way of teaching private lessons, teaching in the Tri-Dac Arts Consortium, playing professionally in local and surrounding orchestras or playing in the Resonance String Quartet. Upon retiring in 2020, I was asked to work as a guest clinician in Richland School District Two the following school year. It was then that I realized that I really missed working with students in that capacity. I also realized that orchestra teachers have a tremendous responsibility and could benefit from the support of other artists who share the same passion as them. I want to inspire students and teachers. I want to provide support that will allow them to grow as musicians and professionals. I want to have a positive impact on their musical journey. I want to help lighten the load of educators by providing instruction for students, conducting sectionals, and whatever else support the students and teacher may need.