Posting Date: February 7, 2012
Meet Katelyn King: Ambassador of percussion
By Stephen Chamblee
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
Katelyn King has been hooked on percussion since middle school when she joined the band in sixth grade. By the time she reached her sophomore year in high school she knew she wanted to devote her life to playing music. "I couldn't imagine doing anything else," Katelyn explains.
Fueled by her desire to be a great performer, Katelyn graduated from North Cobb High School a year early and, at age 17, she began her studies at Kennesaw State University as a music performance major with a concentration in percussion. John Lawless, KSU instructor of percussion studies, says, "Even as a freshman, she was one of the strongest players in my studio. In my 30-plus years of teaching college students, Katelyn is one of the hardest working, most gifted musicians I have had the pleasure to teach."
Now in her junior year, Katelyn is fluent in all concert percussion instruments, but she says her favorite instrument is the marimba. She performs in the university’s percussion ensemble, wind ensemble and orchestra. Outside of KSU, Katelyn plays with Drum Corps Associates and Atlanta Quest, an indoor drum line. She also interns with the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO) and is a recipient of the GYSO scholarship. She is currently preparing for her junior recital, which Lawless says "will be an evening of some of the most difficult works composed for instruments of the percussion family."
Katelyn's musical experience has not been limited to the Atlanta area. While still in high school, she went on a two-week concert tour of western Europe with the Georgia Ambassadors of Music. Since coming to KSU, she has studied abroad in Montepulciano, Italy and travelled to China with the KSU orchestra on a three-city concert tour. This past summer, Katelyn went to Las Vegas to attend a workshop given by world-renowned marimbist Nebojsa Zivkovic at the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus, where she spent a week taking master classes and performing.
Katelyn's long-term goals are to establish herself as a performer and to teach at the university level. She is hoping to attend Yale for graduate school. Outside of class, Katelyn listens to a variety of music ranging from some of her favorite marimba artists to progressive metal bands like Animals As Leaders. She is also is an exercise enthusiast and an avid reader, citing Stephen King and Ayn Rand as two of her favorite authors.
Katelyn believes her wide array of performance experience at KSU has prepared her well for her career and credits her faculty mentors with helping her musical growth. "What I really like about the music program is they put you in a lot of different musical situations to develop your skill set,” says Katelyn. ”All the professors are incredibly helpful. It isn't just a job to them; they really care."