Always striving for creative programming and the best in choral quality, Karen Schuessler has become a highly-respected force within the London choral scene. She is a passionate voice for making the magic of live performance happen.
As founder and conductor of the Karen Schuessler Singers, Karen has led the choir in performances of Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, requiems by Brahms, Duruflé and Fauré, Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum, Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass, Jenkins’ The Armed Man, Halley’s Missa Gaia/Earth Mass, and several Bach cantatas. Also performances of works by John Rutter, Gilbert & Sullivan, London area composers, Broadway composers, ABBA, and the Beatles; and the music of Celtic lands, Africa, South America and Canada.
As artistic director of the choir, Karen has now shaped the programming of and directed over 100 concerts offered over 25 seasons, always mindful of changing cultural trends and often thinking outside the box of the traditional concert experience to more actively involve and engage the audience. She often seeks to partner with non-music organizations to broaden the scope and strengthen the message of the music.
Karen is also Director of Music at Wesley-Knox United Church, London, Ontario, where she plays the organ, directs the adult choir, and heads and conducts a children’s community choir program that annually, week after week, engages over 100 children and young people.
Karen holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Both Karen and her choirs have received wide recognition. The Karen Schuessler Singers was named Best Classical Choir in the 2009 Jack Richardson Awards. In 2010, the choir’s Road to Freedom CD was named Best CD of the Year by James Reaney and the London Free Press. More recently, the City of London honoured Karen by naming her to the Mayor’s 2018 New Year’s Honour List in the category of Arts in recognition of her many contributions to the cultural life of the city.
As a choral conductor, an organ soloist who has performed in Canada, the US and South America, an accompanist, a private music teacher, an examiner for Conservatory Canada and a music festival adjudicator, Karen helps people everywhere make notes fly off the page in live musical experience.