Karen Porter holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Piano Performance from Brigham Young University, where she also studied choral conducting, organ performance and collaborative piano. At BYU she was actively involved in choral music, accompanying BYU Women’s Chorus and serving as collaborative pianist to various vocalists and instrumentalists. She studied choral conducting at the graduate level with Dr. Ronald Staheli and has sung under the baton of such acclaimed conductors as Craig Jessop, John Rutter, Mack Wilberg, Jerrold Ottley and Ronald Staheli. Karen’s work in church music began with a calling to be the senior primary pianist at age 10, followed by a calling as ward organist at age 15, and continues through regular rotations as choir director, choir accompanist, ward organist and primary music leader.
Karen is currently Artistic Director of Cántico Singers, a Portland choral ensemble now in its 10th year. She was the Assistant Conductor from its inception in 2008 and has served as Artistic Director since 2010. Cántico Singers performs regularly throughout the Portland area and was recently selected to perform at the Northwest Conference of the American Choral Directors Association. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Karen has called the Portland area home since 2006. When she isn’t waving her arms in front of a choir or demanding taller vowels, she can usually be found shuttling one of her four children off to music lessons or band rehearsals and enjoying Portland’s amazing food scene with her husband.