Low Brass, Brass Ensemble
BMA - University of Western Ontario
DMA - Yale
Karen Bulmer started playing the tuba on a whim when she was 16 and is now gaining a national reputation as a tuba soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. She has a special interest in contemporary music and, in particular, repertoire that challenges the player to experiment with new ways of creating sound on the tuba. Recently, Karen was invited to perform as a guest artist at the 2010 International Women’s Brass Conference. In 2007, she was one of an international roster of 50 presenters from a variety of disciplines invited to speak and perform at the prestigious ideaCity conference in Toronto. Several of her recital performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio both locally, on Musicraft, and nationally on The Signal.
In 2003, as a way of introducing the tuba to new audiences, Karen created a one-woman show, Girl Meets Tuba, which combines music and storytelling. She has performed Girl Meets Tuba at Fringe Festivals in Winnipeg and London, ON, as well as at the Toronto Music Garden. Her radio piece Joined at the Lip, about her on-again off-again love affair with the tuba, aired to popular and critical acclaim on both CBC Radio’s Outfront and NPR’s Performance Today.
In addition to her activities as a performer, Karen is a dedicated teacher and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Low Brass at the Memorial University School of Music where she also conducts the MUN Brass Ensemble. She has held faculty positions at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Windsor, and the University of Prince Edward Island. She is active as both a clinician and adjudicator.
Born and raised in London, ON, Karen completed her Bachelor of Musical Arts at the University of Western Ontario in 1994. After receiving a Chalmers Performing Arts Training Grant from the Ontario Arts Council, she moved to the United States to continue her studies. Karen received the Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University in May, 2005.