A former teacher of the visually impaired, Karen stayed at home with her children until they started school. At that point, her background in piano, singing, and dancing led her to an exciting career in songwriting.
“A close friend of mine had written a musical, ‘Love! at the Café!’, but he didn’t know how to compose the 17 songs that he wanted in it. He asked me to edit his writing and since I had a musical background, I asked him if I could try and write the songs. He had the titles – ‘Kissing in Multiples’ was the first song he wanted me to write and it came very naturally for me – it was like a faucet turned on in my brain and the songs came pouring out of me and I haven’t stopped writing since. That was more than 20 years ago.” Now ‘Love!’ is a favorite musical for high schoolers.
Since she had one musical under her belt, she decided to write a family musical with author Elaine Jabenis and ‘From Generation to Generation’ was born. It was an instant hit in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Karen greatly admired Princess Diana and was crushed when she died in a tragic car accident. She expressed her grief by writing songs about the princess. Karen and Elaine decided to create a musical about Diana’s life. “I was so saddened by the death of this wonderful woman who gave so much to the world,” Karen lamented. “Writing ‘Princess Diana, the Musical’ was my way of trying to keep her memory alive.” Both ‘Diana’ and ‘Generation’ have been produced in many cities around the country.
Karen has two other musicals and more than 15 albums to her name. ‘Princess Diana’ and ‘Love! at the Café!’ are published by Heuer Publishing Company.
Karen’s arranger is Mannheim Steamroller’s Chuck Penington, who passed away in 2018. She records in Omaha with Grammy-nominated engineer Tom Ware. Karen’s work entails more than 100 you tube videos of her songs – some of her videos have gone viral!
She hopes to continue to raise money for various causes with her music.