Karin Thompson

Karin Thompson, cellist, pianist, and musicologist, was born in Loma Linda, California. She attended Walla Walla Valley Academy and obtained a B.Mus. degree from Walla Walla College, now University, in 1991. In college she taught piano and cello in the preparatory divisions of the WWC music department, and she served as principal cellist of the Walla Walla Symphony.

Throughout her high school and college years she studied cello with Christopher von Baeyer, and during that time won young artist competitions that led to solo performances with the Mid-Columbia Symphony, Washington-Idaho Symphony, Walla Walla Symphony, and the Spokane Symphony.

She then studied with Stephen Kates and finished an M.Mus. degree in cello performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1993. While an undergraduate and graduate student, she attended summer programs at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, the Encore School for Strings in Hudson, Ohio, and the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College in Ohio.

After finishing her masterís degree, she taught English for one year in St. Petersburg, Russia, in a language program sponsored by WWC. In 1994 she began doctoral studies in musicology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she also studied cello with Evelyn Elsing and Kenneth Slowik. During this time she started playing the viola da gamba and became an active member of the UMCP Collegium Musicum. In 2001 she completed a Ph.D. in musicology from UMCP, writing her dissertation on the transmission of the liturgical chant tradition of the Russian Orthodox Old Believers in Woodburn, Oregon.

From 2000-2008, she was on the faculty of Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, where she taught courses in music history and other interdisciplinary humanities topics in the general education curriculum. She also served as chair of the music department from June 2007 to December 2008 and as interim academic dean at Atlantic Union College in 2008. On January 1, 2009, she joined the faculty at Walla Walla University, where she was an associate professor of music and served as chair of the music department until 2016, when she became a member of the Andrews University music department.

During the summers of 2009-2012, Thompson joined the faculty of At First Sight, a chamber music sight-reading workshop for young musicians directed by Ellen Francisco in Collegedale, Tennessee. She is a member of the Viola da Gamba Society of America and the Society for American Music.

She is married to Thomas Wehjte, a 1990 graduate of Atlantic Union College.


Sources: WWC music department newsletter, Opus, Summer 1988, 1991, and 1997; IAMA Notes, Summer/Autumn 2008, 27 and Summer/Autumn 2000, 21; Informationand modifications to proposed biography provided by Karin Thompson, 2013; personal knowledge.†††