More Than Just Music!
Kari's love of music began at a young age. At the age of 5, Kari had her first piano lesson. While continuing her piano studies, she added the violin to her repertoire at the age of ten. As a junior high student, she started teaching piano and violin lessons. By the time she graduated high school, she had her own music studio of 20 students. Her parents encouraged her not to get a job at the local hamburger joint, but to teach lessons as her job to build a résumé. At this point, she held two recitals a year, planning recital locations and preparing the refreshments. After high school, her love for music directed her to pursue her higher education in music.
During her university studies, Kari studied piano under Lali Breen and the violin under Dr. Danwen Jiang while attending Arizona State University. Kari graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, violin emphasis from Arizona State University. After her undergrad, she continued her music education at the University of Notre Dame, studying the violin under Tamara Stojanovic Albahari. Kari had the unique opportunity to play for the University of Notre Dame Chamber Orchestra, directed by Dr. Alex Blachly and the University of Notre Dame Symphony directed by Dr. Daniel Stowe.
Kari has taught a variety of instruments for the past 24 years: piano, violin, viola, cello, and acoustic guitar. She thoroughly enjoys not only playing and creating music, but teaching others with the hope that they will discover the same joy of music.
Currently, Kari is the Associate Orchestra Director for the Colorado Saints Chorale & Orchestra of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Lakewood. Kari is an active member of the Douglas-Elbert Music Teacher Association, (DEMTA) Music Teachers National Association, (MTNA) and Colorado State Music Teachers Association (CSMTA).
Kari resides in Parker with her husband, Josh, and their six children.
DCYO is excited for Kari to begin her tenure with us and bring her love of music to the musicians and community.
The Douglas County Youth Orchestra is a highlight of my long career in music. The summer of 2012 I was invited to be Music Director of the DCYO. With only seven students in the group, I agreed to this challenge. Over the next few years, we all helped
build the DCYO into a viable and successful organization. Students, parents, and volunteer board members all pitched in and the DCYO became a stable youth orchestra for students living in the south metro area. Our enrollment increased to the size the
orchestra has been over the past few years, and the quality and ability level of the students has consistently improved during my tenure. I'm proud of our students, who have always risen to the standards I set for the them.
I have been thinking about retiring for the past couple years, and with everything that is happening in our world right now, and some of the health issues my wife and I are
experiencing, I feel it is time. I leave the DCYO in good hands, with a wonderful Interim music director, Kari Ellsworth, an excellent board, an awesome Executive Director, and stable finances. I will continue to support and be a part of the DCYO as Music Director/ Conductor Emeritus. The DCYO is in a good position to weather the bumps that lay ahead and continue to be a youth orchestra of excellence. I am fortunate to have shared my musical knowledge with all of you, and I wish everyone good health and. joyful music making! A musician never actually retires, and I am looking forward to having the time to work on
my own music. An unexpected result of our Tom Sawyer project this past spring is that I finally have my home studio set up and can record my own music here in my studio. I leave you with my first completed release, a song of hope: http://utopianfuturistsociety.bandcamp.com/album/bunkermusik
So while this is a sort of goodbye, I'm sure I will see most of you in the near future. Feel free to contact me, email is best!
Contact Thomas with your well wishes at any of the following addresses:
Thomas A. Blomster, Music Director
Colorado Chamber Orchestra:
Music Director/Conductor Emeritus, Douglas County Youth Orchestra:
Thomas A. Blomster:
DCYO was created in 2005 by a group of music teachers who wanted to provide an opportunity for students to be involved in music outside the school setting. As a Colorado 501 (C)(3) non-profit, non-discriminatory organization, we develop students' musical understanding, social growth, and self esteem at a reasonable cost. DCYO is not affiliated with the Douglas County School District.