About Kathy Coon
Kathy and Music
Music Defines Me
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I have been playing the piano since I was eight years old. I have been playing band instruments since the fifth grade. I have been playing the organ since my freshman year in high school. I play all the band instruments fairly well. However, trombone is my main band instrument.
My Musical Early Years
I began my musical journey in the third grade with piano lessons. I picked it up very quickly and was able to start playing for the school choir by the time I was in the sixth grade. By the time I was in high school I was also playing for the church choir. I competed in numerous local piano competitions where I earned numerous awards.
I was able to sign up for band in the fifth grade. I started out on percussion but switched to trombone the following year when our band director mentioned that we needed more trombone players in the band. I tried it, loved it and made the switch. I played trombone through my junior high, high school and college years.
Learning the Organ
I began learning the organ shortly before the beginning of my freshman year in high school. The organist in my ward was moving so those of us who played the piano well were asked about our interest and I was the only one who said yes. I got two lessons then I was on my own for the entire church service. As a junior in high school, my ward choir was asked to provide the music for the adult session of stake conference. Because I played for the ward choir and sacrament services, the stake invited me to play the organ for the entire meeting in addition to accompanying the choir. In my church, it is rare that youth are considered to be organists for a meeting like that. Just being asked to play for a session of stake conference while in high school was a tremendous honor and opportunity for me.
Composing and Arranging
I discovered my talent for composing and arranging music in junior high. My piano teacher, Mary Pat Lansing, suggested I enter a composing contest. I wrote a very short, simple piano piece that didn’t win any prizes. However, it was enough for me to learn that I enjoyed composing music. During high school, I discovered that I had the ability to take existing music for piano, voice or organ and make them better. I would hear things that sounded good and added them. However, I didn’t really start understanding what I was doing or how to compose and arrange more effectively until I began taking music theory and band courses in college. I began experimenting with writing for different instruments and with different accompaniment styles. I started composing for band in 2011. I am an active composer and attempting to get some of my material published.