Board & Staff

Photo of Karen Berry with a red umbrella and leaning on a statue of a person

Karen Berry
Board Member

Karen grew up in South Seattle and attended Highline Community College graduating with an Associate Degree in Nursing (RN). After working at Harborview Medical Center for five years she returned to school at Seattle University acquiring her Bachelor Degree in Nursing while continuing to work. In 1979 she moved to San Diego where she was employed at the San Diego Veterans Hospital for another six years. It was there that she met her husband of 35 years, Don.

Don and Karen are the proud parents of two young men, Andrew and Jeremy. Karen is the first to admit that growing up she rarely listened to classical music. Instead she and Don would more likely be found rocking out to The Who, Led Zeppelin or some country twang. But when their first born was just five years old and exclaimed he really wanted to play violin, the Berry journey into classical music began. Andrew began private violin lessons with local teacher, Betsy Stuen-Walker and soon after, his little brother started on viola. Both children played through their high school years, educating and teaching their parents all along the way. Karen is often asked if their children’s musical expertise was inherited from one of their parents. The stock answer is always,“no, it skipped a generation”. Andrew went on to become a cardiology pharmacist but still pulls out his violin…and also his mandolin and guitar on occasion. Jeremy went on to major in music and is the violist in the Calidore Quartet. Everything their parents know about classical music was taught to them by their children. Thanks guys!

Karen went back to work when Jeremy reached High School as a clinical research coordinator in the ICU at Peace Health, but retired 5 years later when parents moved to town. She was brought on the Board of the Festival in 2007 when it first regrouped after it’s year quiet. Over the next 10 years she worked on housing and outreach and anywhere else needed. She is now about to pass the baton of chair over to the very capable, Barry Hembree. She is grateful for the three years she has spent as chair and the great patience the board has shown her.