For the past seven years, Karen has served as a self-employed consultant and has supported several national trade associations and arts organizations by helping them improve marketing and build their revenue streams.
Before starting her business, Karen served for 13 years as a senior executive for the National Retail Federation (NRF) with the last seven years in the role of senior vice president, member services. Prior to joining NRF, she held a number of roles including federal lobbyist, political action committee manager, and director of membership for the Food Marketing Institute.
Karen earned her M.S. in Public Relations from the American University and B.A. in Communication Arts from James Madison University.
Dr. Laurie Hudicek has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from St. Mary’s College of Maryland (1995), a Master of Music Degree from The University of Maryland (1998), and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from The University of Maryland (2002), where she studied contemporary piano with Bradford Gowen.
Dr. Hudicek focuses on the performance of 20th- and 21st-Century Music, specifically the works of American composers. Her performances and lectures have been regarded as “engaging” and “remarkable for thoughtfulness and expression” (21st Century Music), and she has also been described as a “vivid” and “virtuoso” performer (The Washington Post). She has premiered works by Dary John Mizelle, Sean Hickey, Francis McKay, and Steve Antosca.
Dr. Hudicek can be heard on the Furious Artisans label. Her debut recording of George Crumb’s Makroksomos volumes I and II, hailed by 21st Century Music as a “brilliant, commanding, and virtuosic new recording,” has been highly praised by the composer as “superb” and “effectively and sensitively interpreted.” Her recording was also featured on National Public Radio’s Composer’s Datebook. She recently collaborated with her daughter, Eva Ulreich, and Steve Antosca on an award-winning film featuring her recording of Henry Cowell’s The Banshee.
In addition to performing, Dr. Hudicek has also been on the piano faculty at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Levine Music in Washington D.C. where she held the positions of Associate Piano Department Chair and Suzuki Piano Department Chair. She has given pre-performance lectures and talks for Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Strathmore, George Mason University, and City Dance. She is a Registered Suzuki Piano Instructor, a Certified Royal Conservatory of Music theory and piano instructor, and has been published in both The New Music Connoisseur and 21st Century Music.
Director, Educational Programming and Outreach
Michelle Rippey studied violin, piano, and voice as a child, then dedicated herself to pursuing the flute beginning at age ten. She studied flute through high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts and during her summers at the Brevard Music Center.
Ms. Rippey holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance and a Master of Education.
Ms. Rippey performs regularly with the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra, the Pro Art Chamber Orchestra (PACO) of Greater Washington D.C., and the Second Winds woodwind quintet. She is an alternate player with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra and the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, and also performs regularly as a freelance musician. Ms. Rippey has a passion for teaching flute and piccolo. She is the flute instructor and director of the Flute Ensemble at Frederick Community College and maintains a private flute studio teaching lessons both in Loudoun County, VA and Frederick County, MD. She enjoys assisting youth programs as an adjudicator for youth contests, as a mentor for youth orchestra, and by providing sectional coaching, clinics, and master classes for young flutists for schools throughout the Potomac region.
LSO Personnel Manager
Michael has been principal bass for the Loudoun Symphony since it began in 1991, and is also principal bass with the Reston-based Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and the self-conducted Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. In addition to those groups, he plays regularly with Washington Sinfonietta and the Symphony of the Potomac An active freelancer and chamber music player, he has performed with numerous other ensembles over the years.
Michael is also the bassist for The Bitter Liberals, a 5-piece band performing all-original music, and likes to sit in with other bands in the area when he gets the chance.
In addition to his musical activities, he served for several years as board member, Treasurer and Executive Director of the Loudoun Symphony, and continues to work as LSO’s bookkeeper and accounting manager.