Note: The Brief "Highlights" Resume is immediately followed by the Long-Form CV, below on this same page.
Kathleen Pierson, Musician and Teacher
contact: kashainwords -at- gmail - dot - com
mail to: PO Box 1533, Elon, NC 27244
A Brief "Highlights" Short-Form Resume
MM (Master of Music) in Composition, Towson University, Towson, MD
BA in Music, Goucher College, Towson, MD
Additional graduate work in electronic music and in choreography, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Work History Highlights:
2009-present: Part-time Accompanist/Composer for the BFA Dance Program, Elon University, Elon, NC
Summers 2010-2011: Accompanist for Carolina Ballet's Summer Dance intensive, Raleigh, NC
Summer 2010: Substitute Accompanist at American Dance Festival (ADF), Durham, NC
2007-2009: Freelance Composing, Performing, and Teaching in Asheville, NC
2005-2007: Full-time Accompanist/Composer and Instructor in the Dance Division, Kent State University, Kent, OH,
concurrently accompanying summer and weekends for University of Akron Dance Institute, Akron, OH
2004-2005: Guest Artist, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
2001-2004: Part-time Faculty at the rank of Assistant Professor teaching a variety of courses for the Music Department,
and concurrently Resident Musician in Dance, Denison University, Granville, OH
Also during these Ohio and North Carolina years: Perennial accompanist for the annual American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) conferences, and active in International Guild of Musicians in Dance (IGMID)
Through the 90s: Multiple concurrent part-time positions in Towson, Maryland, including:
Adjunct Faculty, Towson University Music Department, teaching up to 20 cr/yr, honored with the Dean's Award 1999
Head of Theory/Composition, for the Towson University Music Department's Preparatory Division 1993-2000
Accompanist/Composer, Towson University Dance Department, and teacher of their Music for Dance course
Guest Faculty (teaching their Music for Dance course), and Accompanist/Composer, Goucher College Dance Department
Accompanist, Carver Center for Arts & Technology Dance Department (Goucher-affiliated magnet high school dance program)
Accompanist for three professional dance companies, and for both Goucher and Towson's summer dance programs
Teacher of Modern Dance (choreographing), Music Theory. and Music History, 1990-96, Baltimore Actors Theatre Conservatory
Teacher of Middle/Upper School Music, Senior Seminar, Madrigal Group, and Chorus, 1991-92, The Park School
Teacher of Music & Drama, and Director of Musicals (write/produce/direct/choreograph/accompany), 1988-90, St James Academy
Through the 70s and 80s: Wide-ranging experiences in dance, music, teaching, and administration, including:
Founder/Administrator/Choregrapher/Composer/Performer/Teacher, Performing Arts Collective, 1984-88 (Fayetteville, AR)
Accompanist/Composer, Goucher College Dance Department, most semesters 1969-80 and 1987-2000 (Towson, MD)
Maryland Summer Center for the Arts Music faculty and accompanist, 1987-90 (Towson MD)
Summer Camp Staff teaching Modern Dance (including choreographing), Appel Arts Center, 1986 (Elmer, NJ)
Accompanist/Composer and Choreographer, University of Arkansas, 1980-84 (Fayetteville, AR)
Accompanist/Composer and Live Musician touring to the public schools with ArtsLive! (Fayetteville AR)
Volunteer Music Program Director, Boston Mountains Educational Cooperative, 1986-88 (a "Special Ed" school, Greenland, AR)
Volunteer Music Program Director, Baltimore Experimental High, 1976-77 (Baltimore MD)
Program Director, Black Rock YMCA Branch and Riding Program, 1978-80 (Towson MD)
Founder/Administrator, Glenmanor Area Horse Shows 1962-67 and Black Rock Horse Shows 1978-80 (Towson MD)
Unusual breadth and depth of experience in music, in dance, in teaching, and in administration.
The Long-Form CV
Note: For those reading this as hard-copy print-out,
the interactive version with additional linked detail
can be accessed online at kathleenpierson.com/cvApr2011.html
Kathleen Pierson, Musician and Teacher
contact: kashainwords -at- gmail - dot - com
mail to: PO Box 1533, Elon, NC 27244
Introductory Overview: Three Distinct Skill Sets:
Composer, Improvisor, and Performer, with lifelong specialization in Music for Dance
Musician for Dance since 1969, currently accompanying ballet, modern, and improv at Elon University and at Carolina Ballet's Summer Intensive. Honored to have accompanied for twenty American College Dance Festival Association conferences (most recently at Elon 2011, VCU 2010, Hollins 2009, Goucher 2008, Ohio U 2007, Radford 2007, and Ohio State 2006). Deeply experienced in improvising accompaniment, using a variety of instruments and musical styles, for ballet classes, for dance improvisation and composition classes, and for all branches of academic modern and contemporary dance including Cunningham, Hawkins, Limon, Horton, Postmodern, Contact Improvisation, Laban-based, and other current forms. Many years' fruitful association with America's finest college dance departments, including decades at Goucher College and at Towson University, years at Denison and at Elon, and a year as Guest Artist at Kenyon College, among others. Accompanist for hundreds of Guest Artists and Residencies across the decades. Compositions and performances outside of dance, as well, including works for chorus and for chamber ensembles.
Teacher of Music History/Appreciation, of Theory/Composition/Fundamentals, and of Music for Dance
Honored with a Dean's Award for teaching and interdisciplinary work at Towson University: "For your interdisciplinary work with the Dance Department; for your excellent teaching of large sections; and for your work with GENED education."
Have taught a total of 33 college courses, including Music Appreciation 14 times. Taught up to 20 credits per year as Adjunct Faculty in the Music Department of Towson University in the 90s; Head of Theory/Composition for the Towson University Music Preparatory Division 1993-2000. Taught the Music for Dance courses at Towson, Goucher, and Kent State. Taught as Part-time Faculty at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Denison University Music Department 2002-04. Additional teaching experiences in private schools, in summer programs, and in special programs, successfully teaching all ages from K-12 through senior citizen.
Lifelong Producer/Administrator, Envisioning, Organizing and Multi-tasking
Founded and single-handedly administered (handling all scheduling, publicity, performance venue and technical details, budget, etc), and also taught/choreographed/composed for, Performing Arts Collective in Fayetteville, Arkansas 1984-88. This very successful grassroots organization brought fresh music and free dance classes and sold-out professional-level performances to an underserved community. In a sense, "echoes" of PAC persist to this day, in what is now known as Fayetteville Dance Coalition (still featuring some of the same choreographers Kathleen first assembled in Fayetteville more than a quarter century ago).
From childhood, conceiving and creating programs and events "from scratch," beginning with equestrian adventures (including running successful Hunter/Jumper Horse Shows for seven years); working as Program Director for Black Rock YMCA Branch and Riding Program in Maryland in the 70s (handling every aspect of the site's 250 acres, buildings, budget, and the daily care of 27 horses, while expanding the filled-to-capacity riding program to include a student-teaching program for the advanced high school students); organizing - despite no funding and initial resistance - a whole-school music program for the Boston Mountains Educational Cooperative (a public "Special Ed" school in the Arkansas Ozarks) in the 80s. Success in the 90s as a 24/7/365 Farm Manager, handling every aspect of land maintenance, feed, budget, and the well-being of 64 kashmiri goats every morning and evening 1995-98 (while concurrently multi-tasking with multiple part-time academic workplaces including accompanying and teaching at Towson University).
In academics, created entirely new college courses/syllabi, including Exploring New Media at Denison University 2003, Women in Music at Towson University 1997, and three very diffrently-focused Music for Dance courses at Towson 1997, Goucher 1999, and Kent State 2006.
Currently: smaller-scale projects, such as successfully organizing the logistics and scheduling for nine guest musicians, for the four days of the ACDF Mid-Atlantic Regional hosted by Elon University March 23-26, 2011.
Education: Degrees and Accomplishments
MM (Master of Music, Composition) Towson University, Towson, MD, 1992
- 4.0 GPA
- Composition with Lawrence Crawford
- Orchestration/Arranging and Advanced Theory with Theldon Myers
- Bibliography/Research and Special Topics in History with James Anthony
- Jazz Improvisation with Greg Hatza, and choral performance (alto) with Choral Society
- Concurrently: constantly composing and accompanying for Towson University's Dance Department and for their Towson Ensemble Dancers professional faculty project (as would continue long after completion of the MM degree).
- Compositions included the electronic score for faculty choreographer Dana J. Martin's "Desert Night," which premiered as the highlight of Kathleen's 1992 Graduate Recital and went on to additional performances: three seasons with three different casts of dancers.
Additional Graduate Work (Electronic Music, Choreography)
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, 1982
- 4.0 GPA
- Graduate Assistant, 1982
- Modern Dance Concert Choreography with Terry Brusstar
- Electronic Composition with Dale Millen (using Buchla 300 analog synth and synched Ampeg large-reel tape recorders)
- Narrated, composed, recorded, and performed live with the Lec/Dem danced by the three dance faculty at numerous Arkansas public schools as part of "ArtsLive!"
- Composed the all-electronic score and also choreographed the large-scale large-ensemble project "Heavy Traffic, High Winds," culminating in five performances outdoors on the UArk Student Union Plaza for National Dance Week 1982.
- Established the community connections and support that would lead to founding Performing Arts Collective, an independent organization apart from the university, which Kathleen administered 1984-1988, bringing numerous workshops, choreographic performances, new music, and absolutely free modern dance classes to the town's under-served residents.
- Music Theory/Composition with Robert Hall Lewis
- Music History, Bibliography/Research, and Conducting with Elliott Galkin
- Additional upper level coursework in Sociology, Comparative Religion, Russian, and Acoustics. Equestrian Team.
- Began accompanying dance classes for Goucher's new Dance Major. Toured with the Dance Department's Lec/Dem to the public schools, many many performances. Played numerous daily classes and guest artist master classes, while still an undergraduate student. Would continue accompanying for Goucher's ever-expanding excellent dance program on and off for decades after graduation.
- As her undergraduate "recitals," in 1970 and 1971, Kathleen conceived, produced, directed, and performed in pre-digital-age multi-media productions, in Goucher's Merrick Theater, with casts of as many as 44 volunteer student musicians, dancers and technicians, involving her original musical compositions and modern dance choreography, with projections and lighting/staging effects; multiple performances to SRO crowds, with publicity in the Baltimore newspapers.
Chronology of Work Experience and Highlights
Currently (August 2009 - present): Elon University, Elon, NC, and Carolina Ballet Summer Intensive, Raleigh, NC.
- Accompanist for the Elon University BFA Dance Program, playing improvisationally for ballet, modern, and choreography/improvisation classes, approximately 30 hr/wk, for the following faculty: Dance Division Head Lauren Kearns; full-time faculty Cherie Bower and Jane Wellford; adjunct faculty Rebecca Hutchins, Renay Aumiller, Amy Beasley, Natalie Marrone, Virginia Dupont, Sara Tourek, and Jen Guy Metcalf. Varying the accompaniment as appropriate to feature djembe drumming and/or piano and/or voice or guitar. Playing as requested both standard (ie, The Prince Act III Swan Lake Variation for the Men's Class) and "novelty" pieces (ie, a percussive piano version of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance, for ballet, by request of the contemp ballet instructor), as well as more typical "daily class exercises" barre/center/across the floor fare and the full range of "percussive/rhythmic" to "liquid continuously-flowing" modern/contemporary styles. Click here to view brief video worksamples.
- Playing for all Prospective Students' Auditions.
- Helping with musical suggestions and ideas for choreographers as requested (there is no Music for Dance class).
- Spring 2011 organized the nine guest musicians' schedules and logistics for the four-day ACDF Mid-Atlantic Regional hosted at Elon March 23-26, 2011.
- Spring 2011 accompanied nine classes at the ACDF Mid-Atlantic: Gerri Houlihan's ADF Audition class (co-accompanying with percussionist Bryan Maurer); Randy James (Rutgers) Modern (co-accompanying with percussionist Bryan Maurer); Christina Soriano (Wake Forest) Comp/Improv; Renay Aumiller (Elon) Contemporary; Amanda Kinzer (ODU) Modern (co-accompanying with percussionist Ian Meeks); Yoav Kaddar (WVU) Paul Taylor Technique (co-accompanying with percussionists Dale Lazar and Bryan Maurer); Elizabeth Ahearn (Goucher) Ballet; Terrance Duncan (CC of Morris) Ballet; and Cherie Bower (Elon) Ballet.
- Spring 2011 drummed live for a duet in the Senior Thesis Choreography Concert, five performances in February 2011.
- Fall 2010 NCDA Annual Event hosted at Elon, accompanied Jane Wellford's improvisation class.
- Composed for, recorded, and performed live with Lauren Kearns' faculty choreography "Akasha," six performances November 2009. The score involved both electronic and live acoustic elements, with three other dance department volunteers joining in, downstage left, for live vocal and percussion along with the recorded electronic score. Click here for more descriptive detail on "Akasha," and here for video excerpts from the piece (seventh worksample on the page).
- Spring 2010 ACDF Mid-Atlantic hosted by VCU in Richmond, VA, traveled with a large Elon contingent, accompanied ten classes, including adjudicator Susan Hadley's massive close-of-the-festival modern class. Click here for more detail on this ACDFA and others from previous years.
- Spontaneously accompanied numerous student showings in Jane Wellford's choreography-assignments class.
- Worked with Lauren Kearns' choreography class exploring the effects of various musical choices on the choreography.
Summer 2011 (scheduled) and Summer 2010: Carolina Ballet Summer Intensive, Raleigh, NC.
- Accompanist for the five-week Summer Dance Intensive, playing improvisationally for ballet and modern dance classes. Accompanied for the following faculty in the 2010 Summer Intensive: Carolina Ballet Director Robert Weiss; Summer Intensive Directors Tyler Walters and Julie Janus Walters; Rehearsal Directors Debra Austin and Marin Boieru; company members Gabor Kapin, Margaret Severin-Hansen, Jan Burkhard, Margot Martin; Lori Christman, Mary Legere; and guest modern dance teachers Autumn Belk, Andrea Woods, and Willie Hinton. Eagerly anticipating playing for those same faculty in summer 2011.
Summer 2010: American Dance Festival on the Duke University campus, Durham, NC.
- Substitute accompanist, accompanied in absence of their "regular" accompanist for the following faculty in 2010: Pam Pietro, Helen Simoneau, and Dawn Springer.
Musical performance independent of dance:
- Performance of original "chamber folk" works with cellist Josh Goldstein, Burlington, NC, October 2009.
Click here for more about Kathleen's music for dance specialization
Click here for audio/video examples of Kathleen's music
Click here for details on Kathleen's twenty ACDFA conference experiences
Click here for a long list of names of some of the teachers for whom Kathleen has accompanied across the decades
Click here for more on Kathleen's own choreographic works and her experience founding/administering Performing Arts Collective years ago: those experiences are still infusing and enriching her current thinking as a musician for dance.
2007-2009: Freelance composing, performing and teaching in Asheville, NC
- Presented original "chamber-folk" performances with cellist Aaron Coffin, in Asheville, NC, featured as part of the St Matthias Chamber Music Series in February 2009, and as a Special Event concert/discussion at Reuter Center on the UNCA campus in March 2009, titled "Composing Music: Premise, Process, Product." This concert/discussion was chosen as a "Smart Bet" by the Mountain Xpress Arts & Entertainment editors.
- Premiere of 15-minute commissioned work Homeland Suite for SATB Chorus, Piano, Flute, Clarinet, and Horn,
in Asheville, NC, at the Reuter Center on the UNC-Asheville campus,
performed by Reuter Singers under the direction of Chuck Taft, May 2008.
- Numerous performances as a chorister with Reuter Singers and the UNCA University Singers, including their combined-forces ambitious productions of Carmina Burana (two-piano and percussion ensemble version) 2007, and Mozart's Requiem (with full orchestra) 2008.
- Created and taught "Exploring Musical Composition" course at the Reuter Center on the UNC-Asheville campus, 2008; excellent successful small compositions created by the students, excellent student evaluations of the course, including among the optional "written comments" "Excellent and inspiring" and "Instructor is extrememly knowledgeable and enthusiastic. She puts an amazing amount of work into each class.".
- ACDF Mid-Atlantic, 2009,
hosted by Hollins University, Roanoke, VA; accompanying improvisationally for
Master Classes, and joining with Natalie Gilbert, Ken Ray Wilemon, and Jefferson Dalby, to play improvisationally, as an ensemble, for the enormous Saturday Dancers' Jam.
- American College Dance Festival, 2008,
hosted by the Goucher College Dance Department, Towson, MD; accompanying improvisationally for
Master Classes, in the very same studios where Kathleen's accompanying of dance had first begun, forty years earlier.
- Stopped by School of the Arts April 15-16, 2008 to visit and jam, while friend/choreographer Molly Shanahan was there as Guest Artist. Jammed along with John Wilson on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Frank Partridge on Wednesday, for Molly's three classes. Also sat in with Lynn Messick both days, adding my voice and drum to Lynn's music for classes taught by Brenda Daniels.
2005-2007: Kent State University, Kent, OH: Full-time Staff Accompanist/Composer and Instructor in the Dance Division
- Taught DAN 47095 Music for Dancers (Spring 2006; focus on music theory and fundamentals, with a history/choreography component, and with an introduction to digital music creation/edit)
- Accompanied majors' ballet and modern dance classes, and all Guest Artist classes
- Composed and performed live for faculty choreography (Kim Carpanty's solo Spring 2007), also created complex computer edits/mixes for numerous student and faculty choreographies
- Taught any interested students, one on one, to use the computer lab to mix, edit, and compose for their own choreographies
- Spring 2007 accompanied independently at both the Ohio University (Atehns, OH) AND Radford University (VA) ACDF Regionals, by invitation, playing numerous classes at each of the two festivals.
- Spring 2006 traveled with Kent State to the ACDF Regional at Ohio State University in Columbus, played numerous classes.
2004-2005: Kenyon College, Gambier, OH: Guest Artist
- Accompanied ballet, modern dance, improvisation, and Guest Artist classes
- Choreographed a large-ensemble dance for the Spring Choreography Concert (note that up until 1990 Kathleen had been active as a teacher and choreographer of modern dance, as well as an accompanist for dance, so her accompanying of classes and composing for choreographers is infused with a visceral remembrance from the years that she herself danced). After the performances, the dancers' written comments included: "Thanks for your enthusiasm - you made each rehearsal a joy! I'll never forget it!" "Thank you for helping me remember the joy in dancing again. Your love for the artform and dedication to our piece is inspiring." "I love having musicians onstage and I've learned so much from the whole thing." "I will remember this experience for always!" and, from a student whose own first try at choreography the following year was selected for ACDF Adjudication: "I had SO much fun. Thank you for making my first dancing experience wonderful."
Performed music live onstage for two pieces on Kenyon's Spring Choreography Concert
- Spring 2005 traveled with Kenyon to the ACDF Regional at Bowling Green (OH), played eleven classes including all three adjudicators (Bill Evans, Joann Mendl Shaw, Helanius Wilkins)
- Spring 2005 also accompanied as invited Guest Artist at ACDF Mid-Atlantic hosted by VCU (Richmond, VA), played nine classes
- Spring 2005 invited back to Towson University as Guest Artist with the Dance Department's Music for Dance Class (a course which Kathleen had originally designed and taught, when it was first offered in the 90s at TU)
2001-2004: Denison University, Granville, OH: Concurrently serving as Resident Musician in Dance
and as Assistant Professor, part-time, in Music
- Taught MUS101 Music Appreciation (Fall 2002, Spring 2003)
- Created and taught FYS102 Exploring New Media in Denison's new all-Mac multimedia production lab (Spring 2004)
Created and taught MUS220/320 (cross-listed as WMST220) Women in Music (Fall 2002, Fall 2003, Spring 2004)
- Taught MUS219/319 World Music (Fall 2004)
- Accompanied ballet, modern dance, improvisation, and Guest Artist classes
Composed and performed music for faculty and student choreography, including Senior Thesis choreography and two major multimedia interdepartmental productions choreographed by Sandy Mathern
Functioned as sole Sound Tech for all performances and recordings in the Dance Department, also mixed and edited for student, faculty, and Guest Artist needs
- Advised choreographers regarding music and assisted with music for the World Dance component of the Dance Department, including performing live for the Irish performances and maintaining/teaching gamelan on the department's small collection of Southeast Asian instruments
Sidebar: Here is the consolidated listing of all 33 college courses Kathleen has taught.
By General Title (specific course titles vary slightly from institution to institution):
Music Appreciation 14 times; Women in Music 11 times; Music For Dance four times; Music Fundamentals twice; World Music; Exploring New Media.
...at Kent State University:
Spr 2006: DAN 47095 Music for Dancers
...at Denison University:
Fall 2004: MUS219/319 World Music
Spr 2004: FYS102 Exploring New Media
Spr 2004: MUS220/320 WMST220 Women in Music
Fall 2003: MUS220/320 WMST220 Women in Music
Spr 2003: MUS101 Music Appreciation
Fall 2002: MUS220/320 WMST220 Women in Music
Fall 2002: MUS101 Music Appreciation
...at Goucher College:
Spr 1999: DA230 Music for Dance
...at Towson University:
Summ 2001: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation" Music of the Western Heritage
Summ 2000: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Summ 2000: MUSC205 (cross-listed with WMST) Women in Music
Spr 2000: MUSC205 (cross-listed with WMST) Women in Music
Spr 2000: MUSC107 Spec Topics Music for Dance
Fall 1999: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Fall 1999: MUSC205 (cross-listed with WMST) Women in Music
Fall 1999: MUSC107 Music Fundamentals
Summ 1999: MUSC205 (cross-listed with WMST) Women in Music
Spr 1999: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Spr 1999: MUSC205 (cross-listed with WMST) Women in Music
Fall 1998: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Fall 1998 (second section): MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Fall 1998: MUSC205 (cross-listed with WMST) Women in Music
Summ 1998: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Spr 1998: MUSC205 (cross-listed with WMST) Women in Music
Spr 1998: MUSC107 Spec Topics Music for Dance
Fall 1997: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Fall 1997: MUSC205 (cross-listed with WMST) Women in Music
Fall 1997: MUSC107 Music Fundamentals
Summ 1997: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Fall 1996: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Summ 1996: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Spr 1996: MUSC101 "GenEd Music Appreciation"
Additional details regarding Kathleen's teaching outside of university settings,
including at Baltimore Actors Theatre Conservatory, Towson, MD 1990-96,
at The Park School, Brooklandville, MD, 1991-92,
and at St James Academy, Monkton, MD 1988-1990,
available upon request
1990-2001: Towson University, Towson, MD: Concurrently, with variations in schedule from semester to semester, serving as:
Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Music (1996-2001, teaching up to 20 credits/year),
Head of Theory/Composition for the Preparatory Division (1993-2000), and
Musician for Dance (constantly 1990-2000, and Summer 2003)
- Dean's Award for teaching and interdepartmental work
- Taught MUSC101 (GenEd Music Appreciation) 12 times at Towson (Spr 96, Summ 96, Fall 96, Summ 97, Fall 97, Summ 98, Fall 98 (2 sections), Spr 99, Fall 99, Summ 00, Summ 01)
Created and taught MUSC205 Women in Music (cross-listed with WMST) eight times (Fall 97, Spr 98, Fall 98, Spr 99, Summ 99, Fall 99, Spr 00, Summ 00)
Taught MUSC107 Music Fundamentals (emphasis on practical Music Theory for elementary classroom teachers) twice, Fall 97, Fall 99
Created and taught the (required for Dance majors) MUSC107-SpecTopics Music for Dance course twice, Spr 98, Spr 00
Served as Head of Theory/Composition for the Preparatory Division 1993-2000: In 1999, Baltimore Choral Society's annual Young Composer's Competition had received such an impressive array of entries that they granted award and performance to four pieces - and three out of the four were Kathleen's high school students (the fourth was a college senior music major). One of the students, Arlene Ducao, has written extensively on her website about her "Prep" experience; "I like to think that I have two biological parents and one "soul parent." I have called Kathy Pierson the "mentor of my life"... I first met her when I was seventeen and looking to take music composition lessons at the Towson University Preparatory... I regard her as the one who first gave me direction as an artist and who first taught me how to think critically... I always wanted to write music that was challenging, but before I started studying with Kathy, the only challenging things I could think of were to cram many musical ideas into one piece, or perhaps make the piece so difficult that it was impractical to perform. Kathy taught me that before I could compose interesting, challenging music, I had to identify what it was in music that interested and challenged me."
Supervised the Preparatory's use of the Computer Lab and its music teaching software, all ages
- Taught computer-based Finale, ETDrill, MacGamut, Practica Musica, Noteplay
- Taught workbook-based Royal Schools, Trinity, and self-designed Music Theory curricula
- Concurrently, played for a huge array of ballet, modern dance, choreography, and guest artist classes and residencies
- Accompanied for the summer dance programs at both Towson and Goucher
- Accompanied at neighboring feeder magnet school Carver Center for Arts and Technology
- Composed for and/or recorded for and/or performed live with faculty and student choreography
- Composed and recorded for local professional companies including T.E.D., The Moving Company, and Surge
- Scholarly activities including
1999 (concurrent with Towson University activities above): Goucher College, Towson, MD: Guest Faculty
- Taught DA230 Music for Dance, Spr 99
Through the 90s, concurrent with all the above, continued accompanying for the Goucher College Dance Department
- Playing numerous classes, in particular Guest Artists and Residencies
Throughout the 90s: Freelance Composing for Professional Choreography, for Theatrical Productions, and for Concert Venues, including:
- Ken Skrsez's Surge Dance Company (Towson, MD)
- in addition to playing company classes, Kathleen composed the 20 min 7-section marimba/cello/keyboard/guitar/vocals score for Surge's "Village" which toured around the Mid-Atlantic, to Cunningham Studio NYC, and to Quinzena da Danca de Almada in Portugal, ultimately honored with the Maryland Arts Council's highest choreography award 1999. Baltimore Sun Dance Critic Judith Green 2/24/98: "The score, by Baltimore composer Kathleen Pierson,...gave the dance a deep heartbeat."
- Nancy Wanich-Romita's The Moving Company (Towson, MD)
Kathleen's recorded score for The Moving Company's "Sister Rain Whisper Stone" featured the addition of live chorus onstage singing, performed at The Baltimore Museum of Art
- T.E.D. (Towson Ensemble Dancers, resident company at Towson University, MD)
- Performer/choreographer Dana J. Martin was affiliated with both The Moving Company and T.E.D.: Kathleen's electronic score "Desert Night" composed for Dana J. Martin's choreography (which was performed in several venues by several different casts across several seasons) was reviewed by J.L. Conklin (contributing writer to Baltimore Sun and Towson Times) as
- "...a wonderfully atmospheric paean to open spaces.
Ms. Martin focused her vision alongside that of composer Kathleen Pierson.
The result was fresh and appealing."
- July/August/Distant Christmas" a piano/flute/cello/voice triptych composed for Paulette Brockington's choreography for DanceDetroit (MI), toured with the company to Asia
- Art song "Between These Words" was included in recitals by sopranos in five different venues and featured in Baltimore Composers Coalition's inaugural concert.
- Kathleen composed electronic "filmic" scores for two live theatrical productions directed by Brad Mayes (Romeo and Juliet and Joan at The Globe Theatre, Los Angeles CA), and the music was noted in reviews as
- "notable" (L.A. Reader)
- "a definite asset throughout" (Drama-Logue)
- "Kathleen Pierson's understated score enriches the action" (L.A. Weekly)
- Kathleen created and performed the background music for two documentary films, about midwifery and hand surgery
- handling all planning and day-to-day operations of a grassroots arts organization involving a coalition of choreographers and musicians
- presenting numerous concert performances of new choreographies and music to packed houses in an underserved community, and offering ongoing free classes and workshops (and a remnant of the original 1984 group remains involved to this day in what is now known as Fayetteville Dance Collective)
More details on the decades preceding Performing Arts Collective available upon request.
Forty years performing music and teaching, and still, the undiminished desire
to approach both music and teaching as potentially ever-fresh and new.
Kathleen Pierson, Musician and Teacher