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Marine Band Members
Gunnery Sgt. Karen Johnson

Concertmaster Gunnery Sergeant Karen Johnson of Gilbert, Ariz, joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in March 2011. She was appointed Concertmaster in October 2015.

Gunnery Sgt. Johnson began her musical training at age 4. After graduating in 1996 from Highland High School in Gilbert, she earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from The Juilliard School in New York. She then earned a master’s degree in music from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2002. Her notable instructors include Dr. William Magers formerly of Arizona State University; Joel Smirnoff, formerly of the Juilliard String Quartet; and William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” she was concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and guest concertmaster of the Seattle, Oregon, and Phoenix Symphonies.

With the orchestra, Gunnery Sgt. Johnson performs regularly at White House State Dinners, receptions, and other functions. She appears with the Marine Chamber Orchestra in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. She has been featured as a soloist with the Marine Chamber Orchestra on Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto and Henryk Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2. She also has performed as a violin soloist with the Quantico Marine Band of Quantico, Va.