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Karen Benda, D.M.A.
Clarinetist Karen Benda is an avid chamber musician, soloist, and holds the position of Instructor of Clarinet and Alexander Technique at Interlochen Center for the Arts.
Benda has held teaching residencies at the University of Costa Rica and in Colombia, South America as an artist-faculty member of the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia (Youth Philharmonic of Colombia). She is an advocate of body wellness for artists and has presented numerous workshops and clinics at educational organizations and institutions throughout North America. Benda also performs and presents masterclasses combining her skills of Alexander Technique and artistry throughout North America and abroad. She performs additionally with her chamber group, Amical Trio in addition to performance with NAVO and other ensembles.
Benda has held the position of Instructor of Clarinet and Alexander Technique at Interlochen Arts Camp, where she has presented numerous concerts while also being featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. She has performed at the Sunflower Music Festival, the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest, International Double Reed Society, among others. Benda has held teaching positions at Washburn University, Ohio University, University of Michigan, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department. Her festival participation includes Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and a substitute position with the New World Symphony. Benda holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan, a Master of Music from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Oklahoma.
Benda is certified in the Alexander Technique through Alexander Technique International, having graduated from the Houston School of Alexander Technique (HSAT). Benda has also studied extensively under master instructors Christine Lidvall, Martha Fertman Hansen, Meade Andrews, Susan Sinclair, and Delia Rosenboom. She also has additional training in Living in the Body level I and is certified in Polestar Anatomy.
I am interested in providing students with tools and skills to improve their technical, artistic, and aesthetic prowess as clarinetists and musicians. One of my main objectives is to create a safe and open space for students to explore their musical goals and aspirations. My students will explore fundamentals on a deeper level and simultaneously enhance their artistic level so that they can excel at their performances. An understanding of reed work is essential so that students are prepared to meet the many hours of individual practice and demands of performances. I encourage the exploration of listening to repertoire, theoretical analysis, and study of the material. My ability to teach students to play with less tension and effort gives students the tools to combat performance anxiety while unleashing their creativity.
B.M.E. Music Education - University of Oklahoma
M.M. Master of Music - Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
D.M.A. Doctor of Musical Arts - University of Michigan