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Karen Soderberg-Sarnaker, Director of Vocal and Choral Activities, served as Chair of the Department of Music from 1994-2000 and from 2006-2009. She is the director of the University Chorale, FSU Chamber Choir and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Dr. Sarnaker earned degrees of Bachelor of Music Education from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon; Masters of Music Education from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon; Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting and Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. She studied conducting under Brock McEhleran, L. Stanley Glarum, Norman Luboff, Paul Salamunovich, Maurice Skones and Eric Ericson (in Stockholm, Sweden).
Active in Maryland Music Educators Association, she served as the Western Region President, the Maryland Choral Educators Association State Choral Sight-Reading and the MCEA Solo and Ensemble Chair. She most recently served as the Maryland Music Educator’s Board as the CMENC Collegiate Advisor. Dr. Sarnaker is a member of the International Federation of Choral Musicians and the American Choral Directors Association. She served as the ACDA Maryland State President-Elect, President and Vice-President, and as the Maryland ACDA Repertoire and Standards Chair for Community Choirs.
Dr. Sarnaker is Director of Music at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cumberland, MD and former conductor of the Cumberland Choral Society (1998-2009).
Dr. Sarnaker has conducted the Goldsmiths University of London Chamber Choir and University Chorus while on sabbatical in London, England. She performed with the Kalina Choir, who specialized in Russian Choral Music, at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England and with the Asia Pacific International Choral Institute Chamber Choir in Singapore. She toured China in 2008 with the FSU Chamber Choir to Beijing, Changsha and Yiyang in the Hunan province.
Dr. Sarnaker is active as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician throughout the Tri-State Region and the Pacific Northwest.