Kathy A. Bartol’s early passion for music, inspired by her very musical family, has lead to a dedicated career as a music educator, voice coach, conductor, piano instructor, singer-songwriter and keyboard player. In this respect, she has been recognized for nearly four decades of work in music education. While in high school, she leaned into her own love of music and soon found her talent was recognized as the chosen soloist and lead in school musicals. Ms. Bartol was called upon to play piano accompaniment at concerts.
Ms. Bartol received a Bachelor of Science in music education in 1981 and a Master of Arts in music from West Chester University. Furthermore, she has completed postgraduate coursework at the University of Minnesota, Westminster Choir College and The University of the Arts. When the time came for her to choose a career, the choice to go into music seemed already made for her as it was not only what she loved, but what she was best at. She is specialized in the Kodaly method and has presented workshops on this approach to music which was developed by Zoltan Kodaly in Hungary in the mid-20th century. Through music, she has felt that she is able to not only pass down skill, but also pass the joy of playing to students as well.
In her current line of work, Ms. Bartol serves as a performing musician, singer and keyboard player. Furthermore, she leverages her skills and expertise as a private voice and piano instructor. Prior to concentrating on these roles as her primary tasks, Ms. Bartol served as the conductor and director of choral music, and the department chair at Selinsgrove High School from 1997 to 2016. Her work with the school district extends further back in her career, serving as the music instructor and chorus director of Selinsgrove Elementary Schools from 1981 to 1983 and as the music instructor and chorus director of the Selinsgrove Middle Schools from 1983 to 1997. Furthermore, she was the director of the show choir at Susquehanna University from 1988 to 1989. In addition, she served as a cooperating teacher for the music education departments at Susquehanna University, Bucknell College and Pennsylvania State University. While at Penn State, she was an original contributing author for the university’s Partnership for Music Teacher Excellence: Guide for Cooperating Teachers, Student Teachers, and University Supervisors. Earlier in her career, Ms. Bartol taught pupils privately in piano and voice, much like she does in her current line of work.
Equipped with a striking mezzo-soprano voice, Ms. Bartol has provided her talent as a professional singer for studio recordings and dance/rock bands. She has performed as a guest artist for symphonic concerts across Pennsylvania and New York and has even performed with Davy Jones of The Monkees. In addition to this great honor, Ms. Bartol considers her greatest career highlight as being able to prepare students to perform at a professional level, and perform with a world-famous composer despite the limitations of the public school education. James Mulholland, a famous composer visited central Pennsylvania and was moved upon hearing Ms. Bartol’s choir perform. He immediately sent them an invitation to premier his work at Carnegie Hall. This paved the way for Ms. Bartol to participate in a series of Carnegie Hall performances.
Ms. Bartol has lead her students in many other occasions of renown. She directed her students in performing at the WWII Memorial Dedication ceremonies in Washington, DC, and the 400th anniversary of Jamestown with George W. Bush, Sandra Day O’Connor and other dignitaries. She has also conducted her students in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic games, performances with The Turtle Island String Quartet in their concert at Susquehanna University and in five Carnegie Hall concerts, including the premieres of John Rutter’s Mass of The Children and The Gift of Life: Six Canticles of Creation. Many of Ms. Bartol’s students have gone on to have successful and notable careers within the music industry, including award-winning Broadway and opera performers, members of a number one ranking rock band, an instrumentalist in a major symphonic orchestra, a prominent sound technician and many dedicated music educators.
As music runs deep in her blood, Ms. Bartol incorporated it into an active life in volunteer work She has volunteered her craft as a musician for local area nursing homes and spends much of her free time devoted to the Saint Monica Church in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. In addition, she is an annual volunteer for the American Heart Association.