Master Gunnery Sergeant Karen Grimsey
Harpist Master Gunnery Sergeant Karen Grimsey joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in September 1994. Master Gunnery Sgt. Grimsey began her musical training at age 11. After graduating in 1988 from Wheaton North High School, she attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music (harp performance). She continued her studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York where she earned a master’s degree in music (orchestra performance). Her harp instructors were Sarah Bullen of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Susann McDonald of Indiana University, and Edward Druzinsky formerly of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Master Gunnery Sgt. Grimsey was a second place winner of the American String Teachers Competition in 1988, and a finalist in the American Harp Society Competition in 1990. She has been a substitute harpist for the New World Symphony in Miami and the New York Philharmonic.